New Study Finds Teens in Colorado Do Not Use Marijuana More Than in Other States

One of the biggest arguments against legalizing marijuana is that it will lead to all teenagers becoming hopelessly addicted cannabis users. But according to new data out of Colorado, that doesn't seem to be the case.

The CDC conducted a study of teenage behaviors that included things such as alcohol and drug use. And when it comes to marijuana, it turns out Colorado's teenagers aren't any different than the rest of the country.

According to the data, 35.5 percent of teenagers in Colorado said they have tried marijuana at least once in their life, compared to 35.6 percent of teenagers in the entire United States. Also 19.6 percent of Colorado teenagers said they currently use cannabis (meaning they had consumed it within the last 30 days) compared to 19.8 of nationwide teenagers.

So basically, Colorado teens don't use marijuana anymore than teenagers anywhere else in the United States. 

What the survey doesn't mention is that these percentages are actually lower in Colorado after legalization than before. 39.5 percent of Colorado teens had tried marijuana at least once in their lives in 2011, four percent higher than in 2017. And 22 percent said they currently used it, more than two percent more than in 2017.

So not only are Colorado teens using marijuana at the same rates as other states, but they're actually using it less than they were before legalization. 

So we can just cross that argument off the anti-marijuana list.

(h/t CDC)


After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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