Two Lanarkshire primary school children were rushed to hospital after accidentally eating “sweets” laced with cannabis.
The youngsters, aged nine and eight, found the unopened packet in Fernhill in Rutherglen, and thought they were popular sweets brand, Nerds.
However, they were actually psychoactive candy, which contains 600 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – roughly equivalent to smoking 50 cannabis joints.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customise your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Packaging on the sweets is designed to resemble products from the American candy maker Ferrara and their Nerds sweets brand.
The mum of one of the children contacted Lanarkshire Live to warn other parents in the area about the incident, with the candy discovered near Kirkmuir Drive.
She explained: “My son was out playing with his friend and there was an unopened packet of what they thought was Nerds sweets just left at a wall there. I’ve always told him not to pick things up, but you know what kids are like with sweets.
“He and his friend ate them while out playing. When they came back to the house both me and his friend’s mum realised there was something wrong. Both of them looked stunned, their eyes were large and they were laughing at everything. I said to my friend that it was like they were high, but I never thought they actually were.
“We had to take them to hospital as they were getting worse. That was when he mentioned they’d found this candy. One of the nurses we spoke to said this wasn’t the first case like that they’ve had recently. His friend had it worse then he did, she was screaming out in the hospital and was in a bad way.
“My son is still a bit confused about it, and he’s not wanting to eat any sweets or anything like that as he’s worried it’ll happen again.
“I’m still in complete shock that this has happened because it’s not something I’d heard of before, where they’re designed to look like normal kid’s sweets. I just want people to be aware that things like this can be found out there.”
*Get the Rutherglen Reformer for all the local news
One of the children had to remain in hospital overnight after suffering a bad reaction.
A number of similar instances have been reported across the country in recent months, with kids continually believing the brightly coloured packets are sweets that can be bought in a regular shop.
Sarah Kittel, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, at Ferrara, the company that make Nerds sweets, said: “Companies that infuse our NERDS products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and then sell that product in packaging that is nearly identical to our own infringes our trademark and creates a genuine consumer safety risk.
“These products imitate a trusted brand, making it difficult to distinguish between illegitimate, THC-infused product and legitimate candy.
“Ferrara, the maker of Nerds products, is in no way associated with these deceptive products, and want to reassure consumers that Nerds products found at major retailers are safe to consume.
“We continue to pursue various means to limit – and eliminate – these products, including cooperating with law enforcement agencies, investigating dispensaries and other retail outlets selling these infringing products, and pursuing legal action, where and when necessary, to protect consumers. ”
Dr James Saldanha, chief of medical services at University Hospital Hairmyres, said: “If you or a family member has a life-threatening emergency, you should call 999.
“If you think you need to attend A&E but it’s not life-threatening, call NHS 24 on 111 day or night, where you will be directed to the right NHS service. “
*Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.
And did you know Lanarkshire Live is on Facebook? Head on over and give us a like and share!