A new study shows that hospital ER visits and hospitalizations are on the rise in Colorado due to improper marijuana use, particularly by new visitors to the state. Since the state legalized recreational marijuana use and began selling in stores in 2014, there has been a significant increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits, school suspensions, lab explosions and pet poisonings. ER visits increased 57% from 2011 to 2013. Part of the issue is that Colorado marijuana products are more potent that what many people have previously used in other states where it is less accessible and still illegal to use recreationally. Visitors in Colorado are more likely to use the drug in excess, especially while on vacation. Experts that led the investigation say that public education of the potential adverse effects of marijuana is essential, and should be taking place at the point of sale where education is easy to provide directly to the customer. They also urge customers to realize that smoking marijuana produces quick effects, while ingesting food products with marijuana in them produces a delayed reaction by a few hours. Caution in realizing these delayed effects is important in reducing the risk of overdosing.
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