Marijuana: 11-month-old choppered to hospital after MMJ reaction, mom under investigation

As medical marijuana has become more prevalent, law enforcers have been reporting more instances of kids having negative reactions to pot -- like a March 2010 report about a ten-month-old hospitalized after ingesting an MMJ edible. Now comes word of an eleven-month old in Longmont who had a similar reaction -- and the town's police spokesman says it's the second such case there this year.

Early afternoon on June 2, officers responded to Longmont United Hospital, where the young girl was having a reaction to what doctors thought was possible ingestion of marijuana. She was subsequently helicoptered to Children's Hospital, where her condition improved enough that she was released the following day.

What happened? According to Longmont Detective Commander Jeff Satur, the child's mom had gone with her baby to a home where one of the residents is a licensed medical marijuana patient. At this point, though, authorities have yet to determine how, exactly, the girl got sick. "She did not eat a cookie or an infused product," he says. "She either ate some of the leaves from a plant or was around somebody smoking marijuana" and had a reaction he considers serious. "If it was threatening enough that they put her on a chopper and Flight-for-Lifed her to Children's, that is telling," he notes.

When asked if he's seen an increase in such reports, Satur says "this is the second case that I'm aware of this year. The first case involved a kid who was approximately eleven-years-old who ate an infused cookie.

"I don't believe we've received any calls about poisoning related to prescription drugs" over the same time period, he adds. "I think people take better care to keep their prescription drugs out of the hands of juveniles -- and they have childproof caps, etc. And in my opinion, the message should be the same for marijuana. If you're growing medical marijuana, you need to take precautions to make sure children don't have access to it, just the same as you would with any prescription."

That said, the focus of the followup investigation in the current case isn't the medical marijuana patient, who was not present when the incident took place according to Satur. Instead, cops and the district attorney are looking at the mother, who's just seventeen and lives with her mom. "We'll work with the DA's office to decide the best course of action on how we want to proceed," he maintains. "Obviously, our first interest is the child. But the mother is young, and we want her to succeed. So that's why we're working with the DA's office -- to decide where to go from here."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana cultivation leads to child abuse charges: New way to target home grows?"

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts