Children's Hospital Colorado

Keeping Marijuana Safely at Home

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2016, there has been an increase in children under the age of 9 who have been taken to the emergency room or hospitalized due to accidentally ingesting the drug. Just like any other drug, medication or household chemical, all products containing marijuana must be kept secure and out of reach of kids.

How to safely store marijuana

If you use medical or recreational marijuana or have it in your home, it’s important to know how to store it safely so that children can't get ahold of it. 

  • Keep any marijuana products in the original child-resistant packaging. 
  • Store marijuana products in locked containers or cabinets that are out of reach of kids. 
  • Consider other, more secure methods of storage as children get older and become more curious about marijuana. 

The dangers of marijuana edibles and kids

Edibles are food products that contain THC — the compound in cannabis that makes a user feel “high." They've become increasingly popular in Colorado and other states where marijuana is legal. Edibles often look exactly like regular cookies, brownies, chocolate or gummies, which makes them appealing to kids. 

If you keep marijuana edibles in your home, find a secure place to store them. Just like marijuana, it's safest to use a child-proof container in a locked box or cabinet that’s out of sight and out of reach to small children.

If your child is old enough, consider teaching them to recognize and avoid marijuana products. In Colorado, all marijuana products are required by state law to be labeled with a red symbol that says THC. Teach your children to recognize this symbol and not eat or drink anything that has this warning. 

Signs that your child may have accidentally eaten a marijuana edible include drowsiness, balance issues and sudden abnormal behavior. Learn more about marijuana intoxication.

Talking to your kids — and other parents — about marijuana in the home

It's important to have talk to your kids about marijuana starting around age 10 or anytime they ask. Young children need to learn that these products are dangerous for kids and should only be used by adults who are over 21 years of age. Children should also know what marijuana is and what marijuana and products containing THC looks like. 

Before your child goes to a friend’s house, ask the other parents whether they keep marijuana in their home. If they do, be sure they store the drug safely. This is a difficult, but important conversation. You should discuss it in the same way you talk about other safety measures for your kids — such as whether they have guns in the home, food allergies and seat belts.

Guests in your home also need to know — and follow — your safety rules. Be sure that visitors understand how to safely store marijuana out of your kids’ reach.

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