Mainstream Media Reporting on Two Teens Hospitalized for Marijuana Brownies

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The headlines feel reminiscent of old reefer madness articles: Teens rushed to the hospital, poisoned by marijuana brownies. There are at least 85 articles today about the alleged marijuana edible overdose, ranging from short and skeptical to full-blown “won’t someone think of the children?”

Apparently, five students in De Anza High School in Richmond, California, bought cookies from a classmate. They were too potent. One of the students allegedly collapsed in a classroom after ingesting the brownie, while another went to the front office and was taken from there to the hospital. Police have been telling people that the teenagers were unconscious and in critical or serious condition.

Three other students were also sickened by the potent cannabis-infused brownies, but they were not hospitalized. They reportedly all bought their medibles from the same source, a 17-year-old female student at the school, who was selling them for $3 each or 2 for $5. She has been arrested and will likely face charges. She is reportedly going to be expelled.

Instead of approaching this story with an appropriate level of skepticism, mainstream reporters have been running with the police’s diction: calling the medical condition of the teenagers serious and critical, playing up the risks of marijuana infused foods, also called edibles or medibles.

Marijuana overdoses do happen, especially if people are experimenting with marijuana infused foods or cannabis concentrates. However, fatal overdoses or overdoses with serious medical fallout have never been reported. Overconsuming cannabinoids can be patently unpleasant. Still, the munchies, a bad fit of paranoia and a very long siesta are far from being serious medical issues.

While it is not ideal for students to be experimenting with any controlled substances, especially at school, there’s very little that can be done to prevent a little risk-taking by teens. If they had overdosed in such a spectacular fashion on any other substance, including culturally the acceptable drugs alcohol and caffeine, they would likely be dead. As it stands, the worst consequences of this experiment will be those imposed by our society as a means of deterring others from doing the same thing. All the energy spent creating alarmist headlines about this situation would have been better spent questioning if the girl selling the brownies really deserves to be kicked out of school, charged with a crime, and likely denied the chance of student aid for college.


For previous Ladybud articles about experiences with bad trips and reefer madness, click here.


Photo Credit:  dichohecho [CC-BY-2.0] via Wikimedia Commons