Since NJ Weed Legalization, Report Claims Dogs are Eating Pot and Getting Sick More Often

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MOUNT LAUREL, NJ – A CBS news report this week claims dogs across New Jersey are getting sick at a rising rate after eating their owner’s new legal weed stash, gummies and other cannabis-based products left lying around the house.

“Rothman Animal Hospital’s Dr. Monique Screnci is Leia’s veterinarian. She says in the last three weeks, they’ve seen more dogs with marijuana toxicosis,” a local veterinarian told CBS.

Two years ago, NPR published a report claiming legal weed is a danger to dogs.

“Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now have legalized pot in some form. And since Colorado ushered in recreational marijuana in 2014, nine more states and D.C. have followed. As weed has become easier for people to get, it has also become a hazard for dogs,” NPR wrote. “Veterinarians believe this particular problem is becoming more common in the Bay Area, as the homeless population grows.”

The American Kennel Club echoes those concerns, saying dogs being brought the veterinarian’s office for marijuana poisoning is on the rise in states with legalized marijuana.

As a result of the drug’s increased accessibility, there has been a significant increase in the reports of dogs suffering from marijuana toxicosis. The Animal Poison Control Center, for example, reported a staggering 765% increase in calls about pets ingesting marijuana in 2019, compared with the same period the previous year. The Pet Poison Helpline also saw an increase of more than 400% in the number of calls they took about marijuana-related incidents over a six-year period, the AKC reported. “The increase in reported cases even prompted a retrospective clinical study that evaluated the trends of marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana usage between 2005 and 2010. There was a concerning four-fold increase in the number of cases reported to the two Colorado veterinary hospitals that were the focus of the study.”

Dogs are far more likely to suffer from marijuana poisoning than cats.

“This is because users often mix the drug into palatable baked goods, which is a particular problem if a dog is a renowned counter surfer,” the AKC wrote.

So if you’re enjoying legal marijuana in New Jersey, make sure you keep your stash out of the reach of your family pets.