Colorado’s tourists aren’t just buying weed now that it’s legal – they’re ending up in emergency rooms at rates far higher than residents, according to a new study.
Doctors reviewed marijuana-related emergency-room admissions at a hospital near Denver International Airport during 2014, when the sale of recreational pot became legal. The results will be published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The physicians found that the rate of emergency-room visits possibly related to marijuana doubled among out-of-state residents in the first year of recreational pot sales. The rate went from 85 per 10,000 visits in 2013 to 168 per 10,000 visits in 2014.
Among Colorado residents, the rate of emergency-room visits possibly related to cannabis use did not change significantly between 2013 and 2014. Among Colorado resident emergency-room patients, 106 per 10,000 visits complained of marijuana-related ailments in 2013 and 112 per 10,000 visits complained of marijuana-related ailments in 2014.
The difference between tourists and residents played out statewide.
Doctors in the study compared the hospital rates to data from the Colorado Hospital Association. That showed the rate…