DELTA Police Constable Derek Gallamore is on a mission to share what he’s learned about alternative ways youths may be consuming marijuana.
“Earlier this year I arrested someone for trafficking strictly in edibles. I’d never seen anything like the range of these types of products that they had available,” says Constable Gallamore.
What disturbed him though is that the THC content in the edibles was in his words, “through the roof.” THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, or simply put, what makes a person high.
“The THC in edibles, or vapes can be as high as nearly 100%,” he says. In comparison, THC content in a typical modern joint might be 25%.
Gallamore is particularly concerned because these products are being marketed and designed to appeal to youths. And the serving sizes may not be clearly marked – for example one square of a chocolate bar could be the recommended serving, rather than the whole chocolate bar.
“The average parent likely has no knowledge that these things are out there,” he points out.
That’s when he decided to put together a presentation for parents, to start informing them of what he was learning as a police officer. He showed it first to the Delta School District Parent Advisory Council, who asked him to bring it to North Delta for a larger audience on December 5. He will be making the presentation in the theatre at North Delta Secondary School from 7-8:30 p.m. The presentation is open to the public and admission is free.
His presentation will also include information about electronic delivery systems for THC – also known as vapourizers or vapes.
They are marketed to be discreet, and may look like key fobs, or a flash drive or even pens. There is typically only a faint fresh marijuana odor associated with their use. Someone using it may simply look like they are sucking on a pen.
The risks Gallamore wants to highlight for parents is that with the high THC content in many of these edibles and weed oils, there is a risk of THC poisoning, particularly with the confusion around serving sizes. A single innocuous gummy bear could have more than a full serving of THC. And young children could be exposed to these edibles as well.
Symptoms of THC poisoning may include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, vomiting, increased anxiety and psychosis.
Parents and teachers can also see a list of resources regarding youth and cannabis use at https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/cannabis#.W_xlCIyPI2w