A new study is showing an unintended side-effect of marijuana legalization in Colorado: a massive spike in child pot use.
According to CBS Denver, a study by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area shows a 29% increase in kids ending up in the emergency room and a 38% in hospitalizations in the first year of pot legalization in The Centennial State.
In fact, amidst Colorado's 12 to 17 year-olds, pot use is 56% higher than the U.S. average. Of kids in that age bracket, more than 1 and 10 use the drug.
While recreational for adults, marijuana use can do much more harm in teens and cause serious health issues. According to a Northwestern University study, teenagers with heavy pot use can experience long-term brain damage. Researchers likened pot's alterations of teens' brain structures and performance to schizophrenia.
Smart Colorado co-founder Diane Carlson blames the increase of teen usage on marketing and the ease of access.
She stated: “Kids have no idea how dangerous or harmful Colorado’s pot is."