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An 11-year-old Staten Island boy was hospitalized after gobbling up THC gummies he mistook for candy at a Super Bowl party — and now his mom is urging the mayor to do something to prevent potential tragedies involving edibles.
Veronica Gill noticed her son, Ryan, “acting really strange” after returning home from a gathering at their friends’ house in New Springville, she told The Post.
“My son was sitting on the couch with me, and he started zoning out. At first, I thought he was pretending because he opened his eyes wide and laughed. Then he would zone out for a minute again, then open his eyes wide and laugh,” she said.
Gill became concerned when the youngster’s laughter suddenly turned into cries for help — and his body started shaking.
“He started saying ‘Mom, I feel really weird.’ He was hearing voices. Then he started shaking … I thought he was maybe having a seizure.”
Panicked, the mother of three rushed Ryan to an urgent care center, where his racing heartbeat led doctors to call an ambulance to take him to the ER at Richmond University Medical Center.
After Ryan underwent a series of tests, including a CAT scan – “God forbid, they had to rule out a brain tumor,” Gill said – a urine test revealed he had ingested a considerable amount of THC in the last few hours.
“I was literally in shock. I couldn’t believe it,” Gill recalled.
Gill was further disturbed to find out that her son had taken the weed-infused gummies from a candy drawer at the “straight-laced” party-throwers home.
“When [my friend] went back to check the drawer after we told her what happened, she realized that the candy had THC in it. She called us hysterically crying,” Gill said.
Gill wasn’t angry with her friend, who told her, “I have no idea how the hell this got into my house.”
Instead, she fumed that packaging for edibles like the ones her son ate is allowed to resemble that of regular candy brands, and have only small THC warnings that buyers can miss.
“A lot of people have said ‘How did she not know [they were edibles]?’ And I tell them, ‘I wouldn’t know.’ People that use that stuff know. People that don’t, don’t even think to look [for THC warnings],” Gill said.
“I’m really not blaming the homeowner at all, because they’re also a victim of this packaging.”
Ryan stayed the night in the hospital, resting and drinking fluids while the symptoms wore off, according to his mom.
“Thank God he’s okay,” she said.
The number of calls to poison-control centers for abuse and misuse of cannabis products in Americans ages 6 to 18 has skyrocketed – rising from 510 cases in 2000 to 1,761 in 2020, according to a recent study published in Clinical Toxicology.
Gill begged Mayor Adams to crack down on illicit cannabis sellers, especially those whose products are marketed towards children — something which the mayor promised to do during a City Hall press conference on Dec. 15.
“What if [the mayor] makes it so that, if the illegal [sellers] don’t have a warning sign on their packages, in big, black, bold letters, they get double the fine? Just to try to protect the kids,” Gill said.