Emergency Calls for Pets Ingesting Marijuana Are Up 765%

As marijuana legalization arrives in more and more states, that also means more and more people are using cannabis. And unfortunately, that also means that more and more pets are accidentally ingesting marijuana as well.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center says they've seen a 765 percent increase in the number of calls related to pets ingesting marijuana over the past 10 years. In 2008, the ASPCA received 208 marijuana-related poison control calls. In 2018, that number increased to around 1,800.

Obviously, part of the reason for the increase in calls is due to more people using marijuana. Studies show the number of people who use cannabis has increased since legalization began, so more people have marijuana lying around. And when more people have marijuana lying around, more pets are going to accidentally eat the stuff.

However, that doesn't mean that there's been a 765 percent increase in pets ingesting marijuana over the past 10 years. Dr. Tina Wismer, the ASPCA call center's medical director, notes that prior to legalization, many people may have avoided calling their poison control center out of fear that it could somehow lead to legal repercussions since cannabis was illegal. But now there marijuana is legal in many places, people aren't as afraid to call since they know they will not get in trouble for doing so.

Wismer also blames edibles in particular, noting that since edibles look like normal food, they're bound to attract the attention of pets, particularly dogs.

So if you like marijuana and have a pet, you should make sure to take extra precautions to prevent them from ingesting any of your stash. Be a responsible marijuana user and a responsible pet owner at the same time. 

(h/t Mashable)


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