December 22, 2016

Teen pot use in Colorado drops

Wonkblog  - Teen marijuana use fell sharply in Colorado in the years 2014 and 2015, after the opening of that state's recreational marijuana market, new federal survey data show.

The state-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 18.35 percent of Coloradans ages 12 to 17 had used marijuana in the past year in 2014 or 2015, down sharply from 20.81 percent in 2013/2014. (In this survey, years are paired for state-level data to provide larger sample sizes). That works out to roughly a 12 percent drop in marijuana use, year-over-year.

Year-over-year teen marijuana use fell in most states during that time period, including in Washington, the other state to open recreational marijuana markets in 2014. But that drop wasn't statistically significant.

Conversely, adult marijuana use rose significantly in Colorado over the same time period. Among Coloradans ages 26 and older, past-year marijuana use rose from 16.80 percent in 2013/2014 to 19.91 percent in 2014/2015. Annual adult marijuana use was up in most states during the same time frame. The legal marijuana markets in Colorado, Washington and elsewhere feature strict age and purchasing limits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really wonder about the stats they use to determine how much of an increase of cannabis use there has been for adults, and how they get the numbers for illicit use before med or legal programs become available. I know a lot of adults who would have never admitted to anyone, but their dealer, to using cannabis before it was available, as either medical or legal weed. Even though they consistently used cannabis all along, fears of losing a good job or going to jail forced many adults to lie about their usage, and use masking agents if they faced a pee test. This included lying on anonymous surveys because you can't always be sure that there isn't a back door to match names to surveys. Some of these adults won't admit to it even then, and some will wait a couple of years of legalization first before admitting to be sure there won't be a sudden law change that could out them and cost a good job. Personally I suspect we are only beginning to get a real picture of actual cannabis use after a couple of years of legalization.

It's been an awkward adjustment to legalization. I go to dispensaries semi regularly for concentrates. I grow my legal limit of plants. I still have trouble sometimes talking openly about it, because of all the years I had to hide my cannabis use carefully because the risks were so brutal. Since I have always used medicinally, I could not risk losing my medication. I feel like it's given me a mild to moderate case of PSTD. I am familiar with PTSD, I have it from being run over as a pedestrian while in the crosswalk, and it's taken years to overcome the worst of it.

I live in a legal state and there is still a black market for weed, but the state is getting a big enough cut of the cash, from the legal market, they don't seem to worry as much about the black market anymore. They will bust illicit dealers if they find them, but they seem to have stopped looking so hard.