Culture

Tourists Using Legal Pot Are Filling Up Colorado Emergency Rooms

We all remember the ridiculous assertion from Bill Clinton when asked about smoking pot: “I didn’t inhale.” Well, it appears that’s not the case for many visitors to the Centennial State. NBC News reports:

Emergency department visits involving marijuana-using visitors doubled from 2013 to 2014, the first year cannabis use was legalized in Colorado, a team of Denver-area doctors said.

Apparently, those people are looking to get a thrill from the legalization of marijuana, but they end up getting more than they bargained for. Denver-based physician Andrew Monte described one recent ER encounter:

I took care of a guy just the other night that had come in, was flying out of town, had come in to see friends, decided to drink some liquid just before going to the airport. He started to feel anxious. His heart started to race. So he came into the emergency department. So we made sure he had no heart trouble, checked the blood sugar, gave him a little bit of sedative and then sent him on to the airport.

To the states thinking about legalizing marijuana, here’s some sound advice from Monte: “[T]ake heed of these experiences [in Denver] and start education campaigns before the laws loosen up.”

Maybe the tide of curiosity can be nipped in the bud if enough people know what they’re getting into ahead of time. Otherwise, emergency rooms are going to be getting a whole lot more crowded with a very paranoid group of people with the munchies.