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Fri, Aug. 07

Toddlers hospitalized after consuming marijuana gummies

Francis Mendoza-Keel (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy)

Francis Mendoza-Keel (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy)

ASH FORK, Ariz. — Two toddlers are recovering in a Phoenix hospital after they are believed to have eaten some of their father’s edible marijuana in Ash Fork July 9.

One of the toddlers was taken to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Prescott July 10, when her mother witnessed the child staggering and eventually collapse, becoming unconscious, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) news release.

Preliminary toxicology on the child tested positive for THC, the

psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, YCSO reported.

“Due to the immediate danger to the child, the attending physician at YRMC had her transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital via helicopter,” said YCSO spokesperson Chris Wilson.

The mother drove to the hospital in Phoenix with her second, 23-month-old

daughter. When police spoke to her, she said her husband, Francis Mendoza-Keel, 22, has a medical marijuana card and usually has marijuana, wax and edibles. Edibles and wax are considered high-potency marijuana derivatives.

The mother also said she confronted her husband about their daughter’s condition and he admitted knowing the 2-year-old had consumed an unknown portion of the edibles while they were staying at an Ash Fork hotel July 9.

Mendoza-Keel told authorities he smoked two marijuana cigarettes before bed that evening and was not sure if he secured the rest of his marijuana before going to sleep. He said he believes his daughter ate four 50mg marijuana Sour Rainbow Belts out of five from a bag that belonged to him.

Mendoza-Keel told police that just one of those edibles has a tranquilizing effect on him and he is 6 foot and weighs 250 pounds — his daughter weighs around 30 pounds.

Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has had toxicology performed on the younger of the two toddlers and found that she also tested positive for THC, according to YCSO.

“The exact level of THC for either child is not known at this time,” Wilson said.

Mendoza-Keel was taken into custody and booked on two counts of child abuse for recklessly allowing the children to consume marijuana edibles.

At this time, one child is in the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit, but is expected to be downgraded to a Step-Down Unit as her condition improves. The younger sister was admitted to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well for observation and malnourishment.

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