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Sat, Dec. 14

Mom arrested after kids eat candy laced with marijuana

COTTONWOOD - A Cottonwood woman has been arrested after her two young children ate some marijuana-laced candy that made them “act crazy.”

‘Medibles’ come in many forms

When the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, is infused into food products, the result is called a “medible” or “edible” by proponents, who claim that it’s a better way to ingest the substance than by smoking it.

Opponents to marijuana and its legalization say the concentrated nature of the THC in these foods can lead to trouble for first-time users. The drug can affect people much more slowly than if they smoked marijuana, but can be more potent.

These foods can be used for either medical or recreational purposes. They include: brownies; cookies; “Cannabutter”; Rice Krispy treats; candy - lollipops, chocolate bars, caramels, taffy, and so on; fudge; muffins; ice cream; and biscuits.

There are no Food and Drug Administration rules governing labels on edibles, so their THC content can vary widely.

Jessica Barrett, 34, has been arrested by Cottonwood Police for allegedly giving her 11- and 12-year-old children THC-infused “gummies,” Cottonwood Police Sgt. Tod Moore stated in a news release.

Cottonwood Police seized a bag of orange and white medicinal marijuana candies, a bag of assorted gummy bear medicinal marijuana candies and a multi-colored marijuana lollipop that Barrett received from a friend, 35-year-old Anthea Sanderson Jones of Cottonwood, according to the news release.

Jones, who has a valid medicinal marijuana card, allegedly gave the candies to Barrett as payment for watching her child.

One of the children reportedly told the father that the marijuana-infused candies made them “act crazy” after ingesting it.

Though Cottonwood Police believe that Barrett “intentionally gave these drugs to her children, it’s important for the public to be aware marijuana intended for medicinal use can take on many forms now,” Cottonwood Police Chief Stephen Gesell said.

Gesell also stated that “THC-laden gummy bears and other edibles that are attractive to children” are also of particular concern.

“The marijuana industry continues to increase the potency to unprecedented levels,” Gesell stated. “As we’ve seen in incidents recorded in Colorado, the potency has resulted in trips to the hospital and behavior typically not associated with marijuana.”

Police also confiscated what was considered a “usable amount of marijuana and a marijuana pipe.”

Barrett has been charged with two counts of child abuse and two counts of possession of marijuana.

Jones was also arrested, and charged with one count of transfer and or sale of marijuana. Selling or giving away legally-purchased medical marijuana is a violation of Arizona law.

Because of time lapse of the investigation, the children did not receive medical attention, Moore stated.

Department of Child Services is also involved in the investigation.

Bill Helm is a reporter for Verde Valley Newspapers and the Verde Independent.

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