Marijuana Tourism in Colorado Leads to Increase in Emergency Room Visits

marijuana cookies 2-25-16

A growing number of “marijuana tourists” in Colorado are ending up in the emergency room, a new study finds.

The number of out-of-state tourists in Colorado who visited the emergency room with marijuana-related medical problems at the University of Colorado Hospital doubled between 2013 and 2014, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Retail sales of marijuana began in 2014.

During the same period, marijuana-related visits to the ER by Colorado residents remained steady, HealthDay reports. Study co-author Dr. Andrew Monte said this suggests that local residents have become better educated about marijuana use. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2000.

“People in Colorado are becoming more experienced with use of these products,” he said. “Sometimes visitors to the state, it’s more difficult to get the educational information in their hands. They may be less experienced with the particular products in the state. They haven’t been exposed to the deluge of public health messaging.”

He found marijuana-related tourist visits to the emergency room increased from 85 per 10,000 in 2013, to 168 per 10,000 in 2014. During the same period, visits by Colorado residents rose from 106 per 10,000 to 112 per 10,000.

Monte explained tourists are most likely to end up in the ER because marijuana has worsened existing mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, anxiety or depression. Some tourists also need medical attention because marijuana has triggered their asthma or sped up their heart rate. The hospital also sees tourists who experience severe vomiting after eating too much edible marijuana.

Dr. Doug Hill, a Colorado-based emergency medicine specialist and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, said tourists who are not used to edible marijuana products may consume too much because they don’t realize it takes awhile to produce an effect.

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    February 25, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    This is absurd…..the most important word in this article is education. You can not die from ingesting marijuana unless a bail of it falls from the sky and hits you. Drug abuse is bad, but thank the War on Drugs for the addiction rates in this country. Heroin addiction is due to the doctors prescribing this and big pharma for pushing it on American and developing even more potent opiods. Why don’t we look at Portugal as far as Drug policy goes. This is not a theory any longer, but proof b/c there program has been going on for 10 + years with great results. First, we need to decriminalize all drugs and make it treatment instead of a jail cell. The dangerous part in all of this is the lack of solid education out there. Kids will experiment but they will also detect lies. Be truthful about which drugs are good and helpful and which ones are life changing. Be open with them and allow an avenue for them to approach you about it. While you are sipping on your beer or wine or even drinking your caffeine enriched soda, remember those 2 drugs are multiple times worse than marijuana and even mushrooms. Wake up America

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    February 25, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    My son was one of those many tourists that didn’t end well in the fine state of Colorado, we have family there and my children are there two or three times a year. We are residents of Nebraska and our state hasn’t legalized marijuana for any purpose, it has proven to create a large increase of our young citizens using and/or abusing marijuana and then trying stronger things as time passes.

    Our citizens are lucky enough to have many forms of parental intervention and support, I personally resorted to the use of a private k9 service, in order to get things back on track. I have actually arranged for K9 Sonic to be randomly ran thru my children’s bed rooms, vehicles and common areas of my home. This service has been a God send for my family, with rehabilitation and random drug checks, we gave finally got our children to understand just how important they are to us.

    I don’t know if this type service is available in all states or not, but it is worth checking into. I offer Kudos to Superior K9 Detection of Superior, Nebraska as well as to K9 Sonic and Ivan, thank you for bringing the security, faith, trust and communication to our family.

    I pray for us all daily

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