Since its legalization in Colorado, the number of emergency room visits for Marijuana related effects has sharply increased. However, based on a study conducted by the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, researchers have determined that the patients frequenting Colorado emergency rooms, are often “marijuana tourists” visiting Colorado from states that have yet to legalize marijuana.
With four states having legalized recreational marijuana, and more on the way, trends like these will undoubtedly become increasingly common as tourist of “green states” seek a legal high.
After spending the last four years in one of the pioneering states to legalize marijuana, I have had the opportunity to personally witness what I consider to be the millennials end of prohibition. As more states begin to discuss the legality of marijuana, the benefits of legal marijuana must be taken into account along side the disadvantages. These discussions will have historic repercussions, and it is up to the American people to make sure that we approach this correctly.
When studies like these are published, the potential of misinforming the public becomes a real threat. The University of Colorado’s study reflects an increase in out-of-state emergency room visits due to Marijuana. However, the issue with this study is that by its nature marijuana can remain in your system for a number of days after use, and because of that it becomes difficult to medical professionals to pinpoint the true cause of the emergency room visit.
As more states discuss the legality of marijuana, the issue is likely to take a national stage as the presidential race heats up. The issue of federal legalization, and oversight will likely take center stage as states begin to see the positive economical effects recreational marijuana has had on Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
The danger of studies like the University of Colorado’s, is that as presidential campaigns, and legalization efforts attract massive media attention “conclusions” and “facts” determined from studies like these continue to surface in speeches and debates all over the country. If society is not cautious with how it handles the budding topic, America could easily regress back into the Reefer Madness era.
(Featured “Reefer Madness” Image courtesy of 1936 Reefer Madness Film)