Thomas M. Nappe and Christopher O. Hoyte have published a case in a report titled Pediatric Death Due to Myocarditis After Exposure to Cannabis, in which they explain how an unidentified 11 month-old infant died of an inflamed heart muscle, or “myocarditis".
Hoyte told Colorado’s 9News that they had ruled out all other causes that may have facilitated the infant’s death such as viruses, infections etc. But upon further examination they found THC, the main psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, in the baby’s blood and urine.
“Myself, our team, plus the primary team taking care of the patient, plus the coroner who did the post-mortem on the child,” Hoyte said, “And we found no other reason why this young kid ended up having inflammation on his heart,” he added, Newsweek reported.
The report has been deemed controversial by some as it doesn’t provide conclusive proof that the baby died due to cannabis exposure.
Dr. Noah Kaufman, an emergency medicine specialist in Colorado, told 9News that there could be a lot of things behind the death of the infant.
“Allergies can cause this. What if the kiddo was allergic to the carnauba wax, or whatever is in the gummy that’s not the marijuana?” Kaufman was reported by Newsweek as saying.
According to Gallup Poll 2017 over 64% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
“The changing perceptions of the drug’s potential harm, as well as the prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales and excise tax revenue for state governments” are some reasons for legalization support, the USA Today website reported.
Currently, recreational marijuana is legal across eight states in the US: Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
UPDATE: Doctor Thomas Nappe told the Washington Post that marijuana should not be regarded as the sole factor of the infant's death:
“We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” he said.