Beware of THC-Laced Candy

Gummies in bulk in glass containersAmong all of the gummy candies, gummy bears are among the most beloved. However, many parents are now opting for other favorites due to the rise of THC-laced gummies. The rise of THC gummies, or candies made with tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychedelic property found in marijuana), have become increasingly popular in the medical marijuana market, which may be why increasing numbers of young people are arriving at emergency rooms, ill from high dosages of the drug.

Many medical marijuana users prefer to ingest THC with edibles like gummies and baked goods rather than to smoke marijuana. According to Dan Anglin of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, drug-infused edibles comprise approximately half of Colorado’s legal cannabis market.

House Bill 1366, passed in 2014, required state regulators to devise laws on edible cannabis products so they are more identifiable when out of their packaging and less appealing to young people. However, kids who are not typically instructed to check for an identifying stamp or emblem on candies may accidentally ingest THC-laced candies. Children are also still at risk to be enticed by the unmarked THC gummies in circulation due to homemade production.

Unmarked gummies may have been at play when 12 Naperville North High School students ingested THC gummies and were sent to Edward Hospital for their accelerated heart rates, agitation, dizziness, and dry mouth. The two teens who distributed the weed gummies were charged with the delivery of marijuana. Another case of THC illness was reported when 11 Indiana teens ate less than one gummy bear each. “The strength is so strong that it caused an adverse reaction in 11 people – not one person, not three – it wasn’t just a small batch or a bad batch”, said Indiana Police Capt. Kellems.

The effect of THC is accelerated when eaten rather than smoked, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Most edible marijuana is metabolized by the liver, which then produces a kind of THC that has a bigger psychedelic punch than the THC that reaches your blood plasma when you smoke it. The high will last much longer too, up to 12 hours.

The best thing you can do to keep your child safe this Halloween season is to carefully inspect your child’s candy. Here are a few rules you can follow to keep THC laced candies from your children this Halloween:

  • Discard candies printed with a marijuana leaf emblem on the packaging or on the candy itself.
  • All candy packaging should appear to be straight from a factory. Do not allow candies that have been hand-packaged.
  • Be wary of abnormally sized and shaped gummy bears. The gummy bear molds often used to make THC gummies are larger than the typical gummy bear size.
  • When it doubt, throw it out!

 

Illinois Marijuana Laws: Part 1

marijana laws, gateway treatment centersILLINOIS MARIJUANA LAWS AND FEDERAL MARIJUANA LAWS

While marijuana possession remains illegal under federal law, as of March 2014, approximately 15 to 20 states have legalized medical marijuana possession. Currently Illinois and Michigan are the only two Midwestern states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Colorado and Washington have even legalized marijuana for recreational use. Despite these changes in public opinion, marijuana possession is still a crime in Illinois. Illinois marijuana laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold.

MARIJUANA AND DRIVING: DUI

Having marijuana or THC in your system is not a crime in and of itself. However, there are local ordinances in some places regarding being “intoxicated” in public, or in the roadway. Also, if you drive with THC in your system, whether or not you are actually impaired, you are committing a DUI.

Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois vary according to whether it’s a first or subsequent conviction:

  •  First conviction: A first conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor. Penalties include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
  • Second conviction: A violation is a class A misdemeanor. Penalties include a mandatory minimum of five days (and up to one year) in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and 240 hours of community service.
  •  Third and fourth convictions: A third or fourth violation is a class 2 felony, punishable with between three and 7 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

ILLINOIS MARIJUANA LAWS

The penalties for violating marijuana laws are all laid out in two sections of the Cannabis Control Act: 720 ILCS 550/4 and 720 ILCS 550/5.

Illinois marijuana laws focus on:

  • Quantity.
  • Personal possession vs. Intent to distribute.

Generally the more marijuana you have, the more serious the crime. And if you are in possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, it is treated as a more serious crime.  Even sentences that don’t involve serving time for marijuana possession can include steep fines AND legal fees, classes or drug treatment, random drug tests and community service.

Also keep in mind, the crime is not just possession of marijuana, but possession of a substance containing cannabis. This means that if you use a misdemeanor amount of cannabis to make a pan of marijuana brownies, you are now in possession of a much heavier substance containing cannabis, and could be charged with a felony!

For more information on marijuana, visit RecoverGateway.org/marijuana.

If you or someone you know has tried before to stop using marijuana before but couldn’t quit, Gateway can help get life back on track. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Gateway Treatment Center’s Marijuana Series Continues

marijuana facts, gateway treatment centersHow Marijuana Works

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has what are called psychoactive chemicals, the main one being ‘tetrahydrocannabinol’ or THC for short. When you smoke marijuana, the THC goes into your lungs and then into your heart, which pumps it into your bloodstream and then takes it directly to your brain. When marijuana is smoked, it only takes a few minutes for the THC to get to the brain, whereas if it is eaten, it would take a little longer because it first has to pass through the digestive system.

Once it’s in your brain, the THC activates what are called ‘receptors,’ and gives you the feeling of being high. In short, marijuana changes the physical and chemical balance in your brain and this is what people refer to as a ‘high.’

7 Reasons to Wise Up About Marijuana

  1. Extended, frequent use of marijuana can result in addiction; when marijuana use stops, a person dependent on marijuana will experience withdrawal and craving symptoms, which are at the root of addictive disorders.
  2. Marijuana is particularly harmful to the still developing brains of young people. It is connected to changes in adolescent brain development resulting in learning, memory problems and IQ loss.
  3.  Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
  4.  Marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis.
  5.  Marijuana use may cause bronchitis and lung complications.
  6.  Smoking marijuana can damage the brain of a developing embryo as early as two weeks after conception.
  7.  Marijuana is particularly dangerous for recovering alcoholics and addicts and can lead to relapse into one’s primary addictive substance.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, as well as concerns with mental well-being, Gateway Treatment Centers can help. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

 

Marijuana: Not As Harmless As You Think

marijuana factsRecently marijuana has been approved for medical use in more than 20 states and its recreational use has even been legalized in Colorado and Washington. Although attitudes seem to be changing about whether or not marijuana is legal, the fact remains marijuana use is associated with health and developmental risks for both adults and teens.

Marijuana is particularly harmful to the still developing brains of young people. It is connected to changes in adolescent brain development resulting in learning, memory problems and IQ loss.

  • Smoking marijuana can damage the brain of a developing embryo as early as two weeks after conception.
  • Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
  • Marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis.
  • Marijuana use may cause bronchitis and lung complications.
  • There is a possibility that street marijuana is laced with other dangerous substances, such as: cocaine, crack, PCP or even embalming fluid.

Marijuana Fast Facts

  • Also referred to as pot, weed, herb, Mary Jane, bud, grass and reefer, marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems and flowers of the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa.
  • Marijuana’s active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
  • Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America with 17.4 million past-month users and used by 76.8% of current illicit drug users. (NSDUH)
  • New growing and harvesting techniques produce marijuana that is about 275% more potent than it was just 10 years ago.

  • Limited evidence suggests that a user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.

 

For more information on the effects of Marijuana use visit RecoverGateway.org/Marijuana.

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