Reefer Madness: It Brings Injury and Death

Posted by admin in October 15th, 2019
Published in Uncategorized

Marijuana use increases accidents and ER visits.
There is a strong link between marijuana use and dangerous driving. Berenson says, “The number of drivers in fatal accidents in Colorado and Washington state who test positive for marijuana has soared since legalization” (p. 219).

With recent changes in its legal status, the impact of marijuana on driving accidents is tragic! Marijuana is the most common illicit drug reported in motor vehicle accidents (MVA) nationwide! Experimental studies indicate that acute intoxication with marijuana affects a number of cognitive and motor skills that are necessary for safe driving, including reaction time, signal detection, information processing, and spatial memory—basically every skill necessary to drive safely.

But car accidents aren’t the only thing sending users to the ER.

Five years after Colorado first legalized marijuana, a new study shows the drug is sending more people to the emergency room than ever before. Inhaled marijuana caused the most severe problems, but marijuana-infused foods and candies, called edibles, led to the second most severe problems. Patients went to the ER with symptoms ranging from uncontrollable vomiting to psychotic episodes.

In a state-funded, post-legal-pot study at The University of Colorado Hospital, —2,567 emergency visits were without question caused by marijuana. Seventeen percent of the visits were for uncontrolled bouts of vomiting. Most of these ER visits were from inhaled marijuana, not edibles. But 12% of the cases were for acute psychosis, where people without a history of mental disorders lost touch with reality. Those cases were more frequently seen with edibles.

Three cannabis-related deaths in Colorado prompted the study.

The study’s findings are significant and come on the heels of another study published this year that found people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis were three times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared with people who never used the drug.

ER records from the hospital (UCHealth) show a three-fold increase in marijuana cases since the state became the first to allow sales of recreational marijuana in January, 2014. Nearly 1/3 of these ER patients eventually had to be admitted to the hospital for longer stays with signs of more severe symptoms as a result of marijuana use.

“In 2012, the ER saw an average of one patient every two days with a marijuana-caused problem. By 2016, the count was THREE TO FOUR patients per day coming to the ER with pot-related crises,” according to Dr. Andrew Monte, University of Colorado.

Monte said edibles are too dangerous to be part of the recreational marketplace. Slow to kick in, users ingest more, thinking the drug isn’t working and as a result, they overdose and end up at the ER.

By 2018, Colorado emergency rooms were showing a 200% increase in marijuana related cases!

Without a doubt there is a growing marijuana industry that promotes the drug as a cure-all while NEVER discussing the drug’s dangers or admitting to the lack of medical research on its usefulness. That’s why Erik Messamore, an MD psychiatrist at Northeast Ohio Medical University declares, “You can’t trust the people who sell marijuana to be upfront with the risks. We need warning labels for this drug. Even simple warnings similar to those on tobacco products. It’s not a cure for anything and it certainly is not safe.”

The number of teenagers sent to ERs more than quadrupled after marijuana was legalized in Colorado — mostly for mental health symptoms. They found 639 teenagers who went to one hospital ER in Colorado had either the drug in their urine or told a doctor they’d been using marijuana. That’s up from 146 in 2005, before marijuana was legalized.

“The state-level effect of marijuana legalization on adolescent use has only begun to be evaluated,” said the University of Colorado’s Dr. George Sam Wang, who led the study. Wang said people believe marijuana is safe — but it is not. “While the perception of risk has gone down quite a bit,” according to Wang, “We know for a fact that marijuana use at a young age can affect adolescent brains.”

It’s important to note that this is happening not only Colorado.

Central Oregon hospitals saw a nearly 2,000% increase in emergency room visits due to marijuana poisoning, with 434 marijuana-related emergency visits in January 2016 alone, compared to a maximum of 32 visits per month prior to legalization (Kent, 2016).

One hospital in Bend, Oregon, had an increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits from 229 in 2012—pre legalization—to 2,251 in 2015.

By 2016, Bend’s hospital ER visits increased to over 6,000 marijuana-relate cases that year alone (Hawryluk, 2017).

Also, calls to poison control centers have risen 210% in Colorado since the legalization of pot.

Washington state has seen a 70% increase in calls since legalization and in Oregon, poison center calls about marijuana went from nine in 2009 to 47 in 2015.

The worst part, is the fact that marijuana-related visits to the children’s hospital in Denver DOUBLED in 2016.

Apparently, the kids got the drug from parents, grandparents, friends, and babysitters. Most of the time, these children ate pot-infused food and candies unaware that they contained marijuana. These kids suffered from dizziness, vomiting, agitation, dangerous heart rates, and seizures. Each child brought into the children’s hospital had to be admitted and treated for drug overdose. All because stoned adults put them in harm’s way.

Unfortunately, I am running out of space. I cannot explain here all the problems with consuming marijuana while pregnant. But USA TODAY ran a frontpage article in August, “Pot While Pregnant.” The article states, “Marijuana use by expectant moms is becoming far more common and concerning than many realize.”

The article claims 70% of Colorado’s 400 marijuana dispensaries recommend the drug’s ingestibles and vapor products to treat morning sickness. These are dispensaries where the clerk has no medical experience or medical background. As a result, Colorado says that the preterm birth rate percentages doubled for those who use pot compared to women who don’t.

Dr. Neeraj Gandotra, an OB-GYN cited in the article, “We have a preponderance of evidence marijuana does affect brain development of embryos and even in infants post-birth.”

Hopefully I am making a strong case for why the myth of medical marijuana and its benefits is so scandalous and deadly. I’ll uncover this myth in part V. You know what to do… 


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