People in enjoy getting high, that’s a fact. Another fact is that research as so far found that pot as little to no permanent dangerous side effects.
For humans at least.
In the years since pot regulations have changed there has been one disturbing trend that is on the rise. Many more pets are being exposed to the drug, and the results are no laughing matter. Dr. Ahna Brutlag, senior veterinary toxicologist at the Pet Poison Hotline, says, “Over the past year alone, we’ve had double the marijuana exposures.”
"What's worrying to us is the severity of cases now. We still see the classic case: red eyes, wobbly, urinating on themselves, a little twitchy ... but they can progress through the sedate, leaning, urine-dribbling stage to becoming completely comatose or absolutely rigid. They've come in and had seizures. They can come in a panic, really sensitive to noise and touch. They can pass away,” says Dr. Heidi Houchen, a veterinarian at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Ore.
The problem is people leaving edibles on surfaces that animals can easily get to. Different species metabolize drugs at varying rates and efficiency, as well as the concentration of THC being higher for their smaller frames.
Although death from pot consumption is rare, there have been at least two cases in Colorado. Stacy Meola, an emergency veterinarian at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colo. also confirms that there were other factor involved, "The two we saw die had other confounding factors, like eating chocolate as well."
Even with the drastic increase in pet pot ingestion, incidences of overdose still lag behind other dangerous materials such as medication, rat poison and insecticides. And these chemicals are far more potent than marijuana.
Another factor to consider is simply numbers; as more states legalize the use of marijuana, more people are bringing it into their homes, and more exposures are happening. On top of this, because of the lessening of the stigma associated with pot use, more people are comfortable reporting that their furry friends have been exposed.
Some advice from Dr. Houchen, “Once you bring marijuana into the house and it's available, it should be kept up and away from the pets just as the kids.”
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Still, the stigma persists. Many people see cannabis users as lazy, unsuccessful, and potentially troubled human beings. Where does this dated stoner stereotype come from? We could cast the blame upon television, movies, or newspapers, but we could also act mature and admit our own responsibility for the unfavorable image.