Teen drug use dropped after Colorado legalized marijuana
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Teen drug use dropped after Colorado legalized marijuana

Jacob Rosenberg Dec 13, 2017 10:33 AM
New data shows that after Colorado legalized marijuana, teen use of the drug dropped "to its lowest level in nearly a decade," according to The Washington Post, looking at new federal data.

Colorado went from a little more than 11 percent of teens (ages 12-17) ingesting marijuana in the past month in 2014-15 to a little more than 9 percent in 2015-16.

Other drug use is down, too. From 2015-16 to 2016-17 for 12-17-year-olds: alcohol use in the past month dropped (12.55 percent to 10.6 percent), heroin use in the past year dropped (0.13 percent to 0.03 percent), and tobacco use in the past month dropped (7.02 percent to 4.64 percent).


The only drug that went up was cocaine use in 12-17-year-olds in the past year (0.98 percent to 1.01 percent).

From the Post:

Last year the survey showed that Colorado was ranked No. 1 in the nation on adolescent marijuana use, a fact seized by marijuana opponents to argue that legalization was failing to protect children from drug use.

With the sharp drop in this year's data, Colorado has fallen to No. 7 in the national ranking of teen marijuana use, behind Alaska, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. A separate survey administered by officials in Colorado has found that teens in the state are in the middle of the pack on marijuana use.

By comparison, Arkansas's stat sheet for teenagers (12-17) for 2015-16 was:

— Marijuana use in past month: 5.59 percent (down from 6.46 percent in 2014-15)

— Cocaine use in past year: 0.47 percent (down from 0.48 percent)

— Heroin use in past year: 0.05 percent (down from 0.07 percent)