Pets aren’t getting stoned more, or less, than they did before recreational cannabis became legal earlier this year in California.
For several years, calls to animal poison control centers about pets accidentally ingesting marijuana — typically when the drug is used as an ingredient in food — have been on the rise.
But that hasn’t changed since Jan. 1, when recreational sales became legal in California, according to new data. Overall, the percentage of calls about marijuana and pets, as a fraction of all poison center calls, has held at a relatively low level. And at least one agency says cannabis-related calls have actually dropped so far this year in California.
“Our cases have increased over the past few years, and veterinarians across the country have indicated an increase in the number of cases they are seeing,” said Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the Animal Poison Control Center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“However, when compared to chocolate or ibuprofen, the case numbers are still small.”
The ASPCA’s poison control center took 325 marijuana-related calls from California in 2017 — up from 132 in 2015. But the agency’s total volume of calls also increased during that time, with cannabis incidents consistently accounting for around one in five calls from California.
This year, the ASPCA says it’s responded to 94 calls for cannabis ingestion in California, which is 19.4 percent of statewide calls.