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10-Year-Old NY Boy Overdoses On Cannabis-Laced Sour Candy: Here Are The Details

15 May 2017, 8:35 am EDT By Katrina Pascual Tech Times
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The police reported that the boy’s father let him sit in the family car by himself, where he also saw the package of “pink lemonade belts” laced with cannabis. The boy ate the treat and suffered the impact of THC in marijuana shortly after.  ( David McNew | Getty Images )

It was a bad day for gummy snacking for a little boy in New York.

A 10-year-old boy from Rockland County was rushed to the emergency room after consuming sour gummy candy laced with medical marijuana, the Ramapo police department has revealed.

Case Details

The police reported that the boy’s father let him sit in the family car by himself, where he also saw the package of “pink lemonade belts” laced with cannabis.

The boy ate the treat and suffered the impact of THC shortly after. He was then sent to the hospital.

Police officers were called to the ER of Good Samaritan Hospital, where they were informed that the victim consumed at least one piece of the gummy snack containing not less than 250 milligrams of THC.

Ephraim Zagelbaum, the boy’s 37-year-old father and a resident of Spring Valley, was arrested and then charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was released from police custody afterward, and the candy was taken for testing and weighing additional possession charges.

These additional possession charges for the father remain pending.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical responsible for most of the psychological effects of marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it acts practically like the cannabinoids naturally made by the human body.

Live Science explained that cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in specific brain areas linked to thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination as well as time perception. THC binds to these receptors and activates them, influencing factors such as an individual’s memory, thinking, movements, pleasure, coordination, and even sensory perception.

THC stimulates brain cells for dopamine release, therefore creating euphoria. It can also alter thinking, induce hallucinations, and lead to delusions.

"Some of the side effects of THC include a decrease in IQ, memory and cognition, especially in younger people," explained Dr. Damon Raskin of Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center. "However, the jury is still out on long-term effects, as not enough research has been done on it yet.”

The higher the THC, the stronger the brain effects, warned the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The average content in marijuana is 1 to 5 percent, 5 to 15 percent in hashish, and up to 20 percent in hashish oil. THC in recreational marijuana doses highly varies.

Gummies And Baked Goods Laced With Cannabis

In December 2016, 12 high schoolers experienced unpleasant symptoms after ingesting gummy bears brought by a fellow student. A doctor revealed later that the goods were laced with cannabis oil.

Last month, North Carolina hospital workers were also sent to the ER after munching on baked goods laced with marijuana. The six employees of Davis Regional Medical Center reportedly consumed cookies and muffins containing cannabis oil — goods that were brought by an employee to work.

The employee denied knowing that the treats contained THC oil. No charges were filed, and the authorities later on discovered that the worker’s family members made the sweets and left them at the kitchen counter, not intending to give them to the hospital staff.

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