Hospital visits related to cannabis increased drastically after Colorado legalized leisure marijuana shows a new study.

The University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers reviewed health records of 9,973 patients at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital from 2012 to 2016 and found a more than triple increase in cannabis-associated emergency visits, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The state completely legalized cannabis in 201

2 and allowed sales in 2014.

Some patients reported eating edibles (about 10.7 percent of cannabis-attributable visits), but a majority of cases were related to inhaled marijuana according to the study funded by Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

Symptoms included: Uncontrollable vomiting, acute psychosis, poisoning and heart problems.

Jars of dried marijuana flowers sit inside a screen cabinet at the Denver-based Medicine Man marijuana store. This marijuana is legal to sell to adults under Colorado law, but remains illegal at federal level. (Photo: Trevor Hughes, USA Today)

An accompanying editorial from the National Institute for Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health says that this research could have wider public health implications.

There have been concerns about public health since some states began to legalize marijuana. And some data suggests that the concerns may be valid.

Car accidents increased 6 percent from 2012 to 2017 in four states that legalized marijuana during this period – Nevada, Colorado, Washington and Oregon – a higher rate than in four comparable states that did not find the Highway Highway Data Institute.

Some doctors have also warned about a connection between marijuana and psychosis.

More: Car crashes, psychosis, suicide: Is the drive to legalize marijuana to ignore big risks?

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @ AshleyMayTweets


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