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Marijuana Legalization Did Not Lead to More Hospital Visits So Far in California

One of the weak arguments thrown out by anti-marijuana activists against legalization is that it leads to more hospital visits from people overindulging in cannabis. But so far in California, that does not appear to be the case.

The University of California-San Diego Hospital announced that they did not see an increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits after cannabis legalization began on January 1st. This actually surprised the hospital, as they had anticipated there would be more people coming in after using too much. 

San Diego was one of the few cities that was 100 percent ready for legalization on January 1st, with dispensaries opening on the day cannabis became legal. Other major cities were delayed because regulations for the industry were passed too late to start right at the New Year.

There are very dubious studies showing an increase in marijuana-related hospital visits in legalized states. One researcher found that 106 kids and teenagers went to the ER in Colorado for marijuana-related conditions in 2005, and that number jumped to 631 in 2014, the first year marijuana legalization began. But there's a large gap in time there, and it's possible emergency room visits were already increasing between 2005 and 2014. It's also been noted that even if there's been an increase, it's still an incredibly small percentage as only about four out of every 1000 ER visits in Colorado is related to marijuana.

And unlike other drugs, even if you end up in the hospital for overuse, at least you don't have to worry about an overdose.

(h/t San Diego Union-Tribune)


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