Thursday, May 04, 2017

ER Visits for Kids Rise Significantly After Pot Legalized in Colorado

by Maggie Fox
May 4, 2017

The number of teenagers sent to emergency rooms more than quadrupled after marijuana was legalized in Colorado — mostly for mental health symptoms, researchers reported Thursday.

They found 639 teenagers who went to one hospital system in Colorado in 2015 had either cannabis in their urine or told a doctor they'd been using cannabis. That's up from 146 in 2005, before the use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado.


Wang said people believe marijuana is safe — but it is not.

"The perception of risk has gone down quite a bit," Wang told NBC News.

"We know that marijuana use at a young age can affect adolescent brains."


The children got the drug from parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, babysitters or other relatives. Most of the time, the kids ate food containing marijuana. Their symptoms included drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, agitation, dangerous heart rates and seizures.

Studies suggest that using marijuana and alcohol together impairs driving more than either substance alone and that alcohol use may increase the absorption of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.

tags: drug use, drug abuse

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