Gloves? Check. Goggles? Check. Ski pants? Check. Heath insurance information and money for the co-pay? Check. That’s right. If you’re headed out west for an epic trip to shred the fresh snowfall in Colorado, you may want to bring a hospital bag just in case. We’re not talking about the risk of a cast for a broken bone suffered while attempting to channel your inner Shawn White at the resort’s terrain park. Or even getting stitches after taking a tumble walking out of a local pub following an hour or two of après-ski. No, we’re talking about treatment for a full-on psychotic episode. Because according to a recent article by the Associated Press, if you plan to take part in the growing (pun intended) marijuana tourism industry during your time in the Centennial State, you are statistically more likely to end up in a hospital ER than your local counterpart. In 2014, the year recreational marijuana sales were legalized in Colorado, the number of emergency room visits by tourists related to marijuana use nearly doubled from the prior year. The most common ailments reported by tourists and visitors in the study were psychiatric in nature, including aggressive behavior and hallucinations. Perhaps you are thinking those numbers reflect a rush of college coeds who rerouted their spring break plans from Panama City to Denver to participate in a week long botany class? Nope. The median age for visitors reporting to the ER with marijuana-related issues in the study was 35.5 years. So much for blaming millennials.
The marijuana tourism industry is growing at a rapid pace. All-inclusive cannabis vacation packages, cannabis-themed excursions, cannabis friendly resorts, dispensary and grow tours offer plenty of ways to get a mile high in and around the Mile High City if that’s the experience you seek. For those of you planning to partake, make sure you pace yourself and maintain good health insurance coverage.