While cannabis enthusiasts claim that the herb is safe, according to a new study, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has resulted in an increase in the number of emergency room visits.
"Recreational cannabis was put up for sale in 2014 and this has led to an increase in the number of emergency services visits, according to a new study," reports CNN. "Although inhaled cannabis overall leads to more visits, according to a new study, edible products – foods containing cannabis extract – account for more visits for psychiatric and cardiovascular symptoms"
Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational purposes in 2014, after having authorized it for medical purposes in 2009. Between 2012 and 2016, UCHealth Hospital of the University of Colorado registered a " threefold increase in the number of emergency visits related to cannabis use – 9,973 cases. Dr. Andrew A. Monte, an emergency room physician at the hospital, said the research was based on the fact that his colleagues had witnessed a high number of cannabis-related visits, with no data to support confirm the observed trend.
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study showed that edible cannabis accounted for 10.7% of emergency room visits, while they accounted for only 0.32% of sales of cannabis in the state. In 2015, for example, a man committed suicide after consuming such a product.
"We saw a higher number of visits attributable to food than expected, and there was no data to determine whether this was really true," said Monte. "There have been several notorious deaths due to cannabis products, but no documented deaths attributable to the inhalation of cannabis."
Dr. G. Sam Wang, a specialist pediatric emergency physician and toxicologist at Colorado Children's Hospital, told CNN that edible cannabis actually had a different effect on the body, noting that it was not safe to eat. it could last longer because of a slower absorption by the body, sometimes causing users to abuse it for lack of immediate effect. Wang also noted that children had been exposed to edible cannabis accidentally. "I usually see children inadvertently ingesting cannabis, children who use cannabis for medical purposes or teenagers who use it for recreational purposes."
Colorado is one of many states that are increasingly adopting marijuana. Since marijuana was legalized by California in 2017, recreational drug has become a social scene in some parts of the state, mainly in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The ultra-liberal city of West Hollywood aspires to become another hot district with stylish lounges in Amsterdam. According to Bloomberg, the city has already started accepting applications.
The marijuana industry has even started a campaign of political correctness by advising people not to use the word "pot" for drugs, because it is an offensive term. According to Anchorage Daily News, the marijuana industry has become very aware of the stereotypical image of "stoner" and wants to address stigma.