Real-Life Cannabis Horror: Mother Charged With Murder After Her 4-Year-Old Dies From THC Edibles
Children falling ill from cannabis edibles is happening with more regularity as cannabis becomes mainstream as some adults are irresponsibly careless. And while, most of the time, kids end-up fully recovered, sometimes the things turn to real-life horror story.
Nina Zdinjak, Benzinga Staff Writer
Benzinga reports that Dorothy Annette Clements, a 30-year-old mother from Virginia has been charged with murder and felony child neglect after her 4-year-old son died as a result of THC poisoning after eating his mom's edibles, local police reported.
Clements was arrested Wednesday, two days after Spotsylvania County Grand Jury indicted her for the death of her son. Tanner Clements, died on 8 May 2022, after suffering a medical emergency. The attending physician told detectives from the Child Victims Unit in charge of the case, that the boy would still be alive if he'd received medical attention quickly after ingestion.
Clements told police she called poison control after her son ate half of a CBD gummy. She said representatives told her he should be fine. Doctors then confirmed that an autopsy report showed a high level of THC was the cause of death, writes NBC Washington. What’s more, detectives found an empty THC gummy jar in the house where Tanner was found.
Clements faces up to 40 years in prison on murder charges.
Poison Control warned that "serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects can occur in children who consume cannabis edibles," which is why adults should keep these products out of reach from children.
What Should Individuals Do In Case Of Adverse Effects
The agency said it is engaged in finding the solution to this problem, constantly overseeing the market. It advises consumers to call 911 if someone is having a serious side effect from these products, to keep them out of children’s reach, and to call the local poison control center if a child has consumed these products without waiting for symptoms to appear.
More common reports about poisoning from cannabis edibles consumption usually come out around Halloween and are unfounded. At this time of the year, a part of the blame also goes to the companies producing copycat cannabis-infused products that look nearly identical to popular candy products.
In April, researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health revealed that “copycat” edibles can have levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC “that far exceed the limits set by state cannabis regulations” and may be easily confused for popular snack foods. Several weeks after, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to all consumers about the accidental ingestion by children of food products containing THC.
“Edibles are a popular and growing segment of the cannabis market. In states where cannabis use is legal, more than half (56%) of people who use cannabis consume edibles, with younger people more likely to do so,” reported NYU in a recent press release. “These copycat cannabis products are a public health concern given that people—including children—could mistake them for snacks and accidentally consume them. From 2017 to 2019, U.S. Poison Control Centers handled nearly 2,000 cases of young children ages 0 to 9 consuming edibles.”
The FDA said THC edibles can be easily mistaken for commonly consumed foods such as breakfast cereal, candy and cookies and accidentally ingested, which can lead to adverse events, especially in children.
The agency further reiterated that some edible products are specifically designed to look like popular branded foods using similar brand names, logos, and package designs.
The FDA is aware of reports of copycat products packaged to look like Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, and Trix, among others.
From January 2021 to April 2022, the FDA received more than 100 adverse reports of both children and adults who consume THC-infused edibles. Some of those individuals had adverse events like hallucinations, increased heart rate, and vomiting and many needed up in the hospital.