What’s In Your Gummy?

The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in a number of states has brought with it a whole new market for marijuana edibles. Not much is currently known about the risks and consequences of using marijuana edibles, but our prevention staff is busy researching. Below is what we have compiled so far. Please stop back regularly as we’ll be providing additional information as it become available.

High School

What are Marijuana Edibles?

Marijuana that is put into food or drinks.

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What are the Health Effects of Marijuana Edibles?

Marijuana edibles will have many of the same effects as smoking marijuana including problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. At higher doses, hallucinations and paranoia can occur.

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What are the Dangers of Using Marijuana Edibles?

The marijuana in edibles is often in a concentrated form, called Butane Hash Oil (BHO). This means that edibles can contain very high doses of the mind-altering chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, making them up to 4 times stronger than smoking a joint.

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There is a risk of overdose since the effects of THC in marijuana edibles are not felt right away depending on a person’s weight and metabolism. It can take from 30 minutes to a few hours for the drug to get from the stomach into the bloodstream, so the person waiting for the “high” might eat more brownies, cookies, gummies, etc.

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It is also often hard to determine exactly how much THC is in each edible. In truth a “serving size” might be 1/10th of a candy bar or 1/7th of a can of soda. Eat or drink too many “servings” and you may suffer overdose symptoms such as overwhelming dizziness, hallucinations, and stomach sickness, or possibly even a trip to the emergency room.

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A growing number of deaths related to edibles are being reported across the country. Most are due to psychosis from high THC levels that result in suicide or accidental death.

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What are Some Consequences of Using Marijuana Edibles?

Since Marijuana edibles contain THC, using them can:

  • impact job performance in much the same way as alcohol and other drugs. Poor job performance can lead to unemployment.

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  • affect a number of skills required for safe driving—alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time—so it’s not safe to drive high or to ride with someone who’s high. Marijuana use makes it hard to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. Combining marijuana with drinking alcohol greatly impairs driving skills.

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Since THC is a CLASS 1 controlled substance:

  • you can be expelled from school or kicked off sports teams if you use, sell, or share marijuana edibles with others.

(Check with your local school district drug policies for details.)

  • it is illegal to transport or to possess marijuana edibles unless you have a prescription or live in a legalized recreational state.

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  • you can be charged with a felony if you sell or share them with others.

Felony convictions result in never being able to hunt with a gun or rifle in your lifetime.

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Felony charges stay on your record for life and may affect employment, scholarships, and career choices.

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Post High School

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Are Marijuana Edibles Addictive?

Since Marijuana edibles contain THC:

  • users may develop what is called a marijuana use disorder, which ranges from problems with their health, school, friendships, family, or other conflicts. Approximately 10 percent of marijuana users develop a marijuana use disorder, and those who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely than adults to develop a marijuana use disorder.

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  • long term, regular use (defined as using more than 10 times a month) can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms following discontinuation.

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Consequences of Using Marijuana Edibles on Campuses in Dunn County?

Since Marijuana edibles contain THC, a CLASS 1 controlled substance, the following laws/sanctions apply:

UW-Stout

  • Federal Financial Aid Laws establish penalties for illicit drug law violations. Students can lose the ability to receive educational financial aid as a result of one or more drug-related convictions. Convictions can also make people ineligible for future governmental aid, including federally subsidized home loans.
  • The State Legislature has developed comprehensive rules for alcohol and other drug use on university (state) property. Under State code s. UWS 18.06 (13)(a),the “unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture, or dispensing of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, employees, or organizations is prohibited on university property or as part of university activities.”

An illicit drug is defined as “a drug, substance, or precursor, including, but not limited to, opiates, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants.” Any person who violates state or federal laws on university property may face prosecution in the appropriate courts. In addition, students, faculty, or staff violating university standards are subject to university disciplinary action. State code UWS Chapter 17 describes standards and disciplinary procedures for addressing nonacademic misconduct.

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Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC)

  • Drug Convictions may impact your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid. According to the United States Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, he or she must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately and that student will be ineligible for further aid and will be required to pay back all aid received after the conviction. Federal Financial Aid consists of: Federal Student Loans, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Grants, Federal Work-Study.
  • CVTC prohibits possession, use, and selling of drugs on campus. Consequences can include being dismissed from school, lost privilege of attending school trips, etc.

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Families/Adults

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What are the Dangers of Marijuana Edibles for Young Children?

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that marijuana poisoning cases among children younger than 10 years of age in Colorado has been rising an average of 34 percent per year. Edible marijuana products were responsible for 52% of the reported hospital visits for youth in Colorado.

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How Can I Help Protect My Child from Pressure to use Marijuana Edibles?

There are many great resources available that provide information on how to talk with children and teens about drugs, including marijuana edibles. A few of our favorites include:

The American Academy of Pediatricians- “Drug Abuse Prevention Starts with Parents.”

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The Partnership for a Drug Free Kids-“Marijuana Talk Kit: What you need to know to talk with your teen about marijuana.”

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If you would like more general marijuana information, visit our Let’s Be Blunt campaign. You can find it on the Projects page.