The Breckenridge Police Department has joined what is quickly becoming a statewide movement over health and public safety concerns associated with marijuana edibles by announcing last week a campaign urging residents and visitors to “Eat Responsibly.”
The announcement was made in the wake of reports that a task force of marijuana industry advocates, health officials and state lawmakers are working on legislation to amend Colorado’s regulations on edibles in an effort to prevent consumers from ingesting too much THC, which is the intoxicating chemical found in marijuana.
According to a recent report by the Associated Press, edibles were cited as a contributing factor in the March death of a Wyoming college student, who leapt to his death from a Denver hotel balcony after reportedly consuming six times the recommended amount of marijuana-infused cookies.
A Denver man accused of shooting his wife in April also may have ingested too much THC through edibles, according to the AP report, although law enforcement officers think the man may have had other drugs in his system as well.
The AP also cited several complaints from inexperienced consumers who reported having unpleasant experiences after eating too many edibles. In Colorado, THC limits for edibles are regulated to 10 milligrams per serving, with a maximum of 10 servings per package.
The Breckenridge Police Department’s Eat Responsibly campaign focuses primarily on the last point and makes the following recommendations to ensure any one who consumes edibles does so safely.
• Because the full effects of edibles can take over an hour to appear, eat only one serving, wait and evaluate your reaction before consuming more.
• Concentrates can be extremely potent, so start out with a small amount.
• Read labels carefully, as most products contain multiple servings.
• Look for products that are already divided into 10 milligram servings of THC to limit the possibility of accidentally ingesting too much.
• Remember that edibles don’t affect everyone the same way.
• Keep all edibles out of reach of children and consider storing them in a childproof container.
• Marijuana edibles are not always easily distinguished from regular food items and lookalikes can pose a safety risk to children.
Certain types of marijuana, in high dosages, may cause feelings of anxiety or, on some occasions, induce reactions including hallucinations, paranoid behavior and seizure like symptoms, the Breckenridge Police Department release stated. Exercise restraint with edibles and concentrates, as exceeding one serving or taking products with alcohol or other drugs could result in a strong adverse reaction, which may last for hours.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.