One of the last holdouts and selling points for keeping cannabis illegal is the assertion that legalization will lead to higher youth cannabis consumption rates. Now, even more empirical data shows that in Colorado, teen cannabis consumption rates have decreased since legalization.
The study was conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and their data reveals that not only is cannabis consumption down among teens, it is drastically down, lower than it has been in nearly a decade. Fewer than nine percent of teens ages 12 to 17 reported consuming cannabis monthly in 2015 and 2016. These are the lowest that the numbers have been since 2007 and 2008.
Not only has cannabis consumption dropped in teens, other substance use has as well. Alcohol, tobacco and heroin use are all also down in the state since legalization took place. Colorado is now ranked number seven in teen cannabis consumption in the country, and has fallen significantly in the ranks.
“Teen use appears to be dropping now that state and local authorities are overseeing the production and sale of marijuana,” Brian Vicente of Vicente Sederberg LLC, one of the drafters of Colorado’s marijuana ballot measure, claimed in a statement to the Washington Post. “There are serious penalties for selling to minors, and regulated cannabis businesses are being vigilant in checking IDs.”
Despite the original concerns of opponents who are anti-cannabis, time and time again, surveys indicate that legalization leads to lower consumption rates among teens. As the legalization experiment continues, and more studies are conducted, it will continue to become evident that legal cannabis is not harmful to minors. The data conclusively indicates that the numbers go down when cannabis is legalized.