Marijuana use in all age groups in Colorado and Washington State, where recreational marijuana is legal, has exceeded the national average during the past year, according to a new report by the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).
Marijuana use in both states rose significantly between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, the group noted.
The report also found the number of burn victims in Colorado from hash oil explosions has increased significantly since marijuana was legalized.
In the first half of 2014, at least 14 children between the ages of 3 and 7 were sent to the emergency room for unintentional marijuana ingestion, compared with an average of four children between 2008 and 2011, and eight children in 2013.
A drug treatment chain in the Denver area has reported a 66 percent increase in teen marijuana abuse treatment between 2011 and 2014, SAM noted.
"We need a pumping-of-the-brakes on the marijuana industry," said SAM President Kevin Sabet. "When we have hospitalizations and burns and deaths, we need to stop many of these products from being sold."
Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, told Reuters, "Trying to draw any conclusions with less than one year of data is irresponsible." He added research on marijuana has produced conflicting results.
Reuters reports Colorado health officials this week announced a public education campaign designed to explain the dangers of marijuana-infused products.