According to doctors at Arizona animal shelters, the state’s new medical marijuana laws have had some unintended consequences.
Speaking with KCTV, Emergency Animal Clinic’s Dr. Billy Griswold claimed that the number of animals showing up at veterinary clinics after ingesting marijuana has more than doubled since the new laws went into effect. At Emergency Animal Clinic alone, which operates out of five locations in the greater Phoenix area, veterinarians are reporting over 24 cases of pets that have ingested marijuana each month.
Although pets can have an upset stomach or act more sedate after ingesting marijuana, the drug is neither toxic to animals nor a serious threat to any animal’s long-term health.
While many of these cases occur accidentally after a pet finds its way into an owner's stash, some individuals are purposefully feeding animals the drug. The Huffington Post reported on the case of Laura Bugni-Daniel, a Los Angeles woman who began feeding her sick 12-year-old bulldog medical marijuana in order to ease his pain.
Whether or not marijuana can be beneficial to a pet’s health is still undetermined, largely because there has not been much research into the field. With the increased adoption of medical marijuana laws, as well as the legalization of the drug in states like Colorado and Washington, further studies are likely to continue into marijuana’s medicinal potential for all species.