With the legalization of Marijuana, Steamboat Springs has seen an increase of ER visits by tourists due to edible usage.
Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, and we still carry the stigma of “everyone smokes pot” apparently. However, According to the Colorado Department of Health and Environments, a recent report showed that 74 people visited an emergency room in Routt County between 2011 and 2013 due to marijuana overdoses, and in 2014 through 2015 40 more people visited the emergency room for the same reason.
According to the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Yampa Valley Medical Center, Dr. David Wilkinson, most of the incidents with edible usage involve tourists. Some locals do have a problem too, but majority of their patients are tourists who do not understand the effects of marijuana.
What mostly occurs is tourists will vacation in Steamboat. While they’re here, they will visit one of the dispensaries and purchase marijuana. Either they are unaware of the effects or they consume too much, and then they find themselves in the emergency department. Many become too paranoid because they are unaware of the effects it can have on your body. Symptoms generally seen are extreme anxiety, hyperventilation, and over-emotional behavior. More often than not, these symptoms are connected to over-eating edibles.
Education is key for everyone, tourist or not. It is crucial that you understand the effects of marijuana and how much you are consuming. No matter how old you may be, learning about marijuana’s positive and negative effects can never hurt.