Virginia mother charged with murder after 4-year-old son died after eating THC candy

A Virginia mother has been charged with murder and criminal negligence of a child after her 4-year-old son died after eating THC candy, the police said.

Dorothy Annette Clements, 30, of Spotsylvania was arrested on Wednesday, two days after a grand jury indicted her on charges relating to her son’s death in May.

Authorities said Clements failed to get help from his son quickly enough after he was found unconscious on May 6 at a Fredericksburg home they were visiting, about 11 miles from Spotsylvania.

The boy died two days later, according to police, who said detectives believed the boy had ingested a “large amount” of gummies.

NBC Washington reported that an autopsy found THC – the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high – as the cause of death.

A doctor told detectives the boy could have been saved had he received medical attention sooner, authorities said.

Clements told police she called the poison control center after the boy ate half a CBD candy and was told by officials he would be fine, NBC Washington reported.

But police said Clements’ claims did not match evidence found at the home, where a detective reported finding an empty jar of THC gum in the house where he was found, according to NBC Washington.

Clements faces up to 40 years in prison for murder charge.

His arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 1, according to online records.

poison control said that “serious and sometimes fatal side effects can occur in children who consume edible cannabis products”, and recommends that parents keep cannabis products away from children.

According to poison control.

“Parents and caregivers should call the poison control center whether or not symptoms are present, as signs and symptoms may not appear immediately after consumption,” the organization says.

Experts say the appearance of THC gummies is part of what makes them riskier to leave around children.

The gummies’ packaging is generally not childproof, and given their resemblance to candies, “when children encounter them, most children will put them in their mouths and ingest them”, said Dr. Jill McCabe, pediatric emergency physician. works at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, NBC Washington told.

If children consume it, parents should immediately call 911 and seek emergency medical attention if the child “has difficulty breathing, not breathing well, has a seizure, has difficulty walking, is very lethargic, [or having] persistent vomiting,” McCabe told NBC Washington.

The warnings follow a series of recent incidents in which children have been hospitalized for consuming foods containing THC.

In 2020, at least two children – an 11-year-old and a 5-year-old child – were hospitalized after eating “Medicated Nerds Rope”, a THC candy, from a Utah food bank.

A year earlier, the mother of a 5-year-old boy was stopped for child endangerment after his son brought gummies containing THC to his elementary school in Cleveland, resulting in the hospitalization of nine children.

In 2018, at least 5 Florida college students were taken to hospital after eating marijuana gummy bears, which a 12-year-old boy allegedly handed out during gym class.

Medical Experts said the 2015 death of an 11-month-old baby boy in Colorado marked “the first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis”, although the baby was officially listed as having died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and other experts have questioned whether cannabis caused the death.

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