Teenager hospitalised after eating sweets containing cannabis
The packaging looks nearly identical to the regular sour jellies.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued a warning to parents after a large number of sweets containing cannabis have been intercepted by Gardaí.
The warning comes following a number of recent incidents where products containing significant levels of the psychotropic cannabis component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were intercepted by An Garda Síochana and Revenue’s Customs Service.
In at least one incident, sweets containing cannabis oil were consumed by a number of teenagers, one of whom "subsequently suffered serious adverse health effects requiring hospitalisation."
The THC-laced sweets were apparently purchased online with the packaging carrying explicit warnings to "eat the sweets cautiously" and that a "significant concentration" of the cannabis component was present.
Doctor Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI said in a statement that the sweets are dangerous as they may be "consumed unwittingly" by younger people or those with prior medical conditions.
“Sweets containing cannabis components are being sold online or by other means. They are dangerous, particularly for young people and those with prior health conditions who may consume them unwittingly," she said.
“This new development is a sinister attempt to sell narcotics in the form of sweets and those involved are obviously not concerned about the consequences of these products getting into the hands of vulnerable people like children who could consume these products unwittingly to the detriment of their health."
The FSAI is liaising with other Government agencies including the Health Service Executive, An Garda Síochana, and Revenue’s Customs Service to detect and stop the import and sale of these products into Ireland.
The FSAI is urging parents and "anybody in a position of influence" to educate children about the dangers of these "illicit products" and to alert enforcement agencies if they have information about the availability of these products.