The anti-marijuana legalization movement seems to always come back to one argument which they believe helps their cause: that emergency room visits involving marijuana have risen over 175% since the mid 1990s.
The DEA even went so far as to state that nearly half a million emergency room visits in 2011 were a direct result of marijuana, with cocaine being the only drug responsible for more. But one large problem with this data is that there are roughly 70 times more marijuana users than cocaine users in the US, which would certainly result in more hospital visits for marijuana users. On a “per-user basis” marijuana causes drastically less emergency room visits than cocaine, and even less than alcohol.
Because the Drug Abuse Warning Network does not provide any information on emergency room visits related to alcohol, we will instead have to take a look at those numbers from a National Institutes of Health report which shows all alcohol-related emergency room trips. The report clearly reveals that marijuana is much less likely to end in a hospital visit than heroin, cocaine, meth, prescription drugs or alcohol.
The report goes on to show that for every thousand people who consume alcohol regularly, there are eight more trips to the hospital than when compared with marijuana.
These numbers were taken directly from the federal government’s records and they clearly prove that marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol and other drugs.