Colorado Legalisation Leads To Drop In Teen Use
The world is a big and ever changing place. One thing is for sure, movement and change are all around us, especially when the topic is marijuana and how it is viewed. Once thought of and labeled as the official “gateway” drug, cannabis is getting a whole new image, especially in the U.S and particularly with legalization in Colorado. One of the main arguments in the past used against legalization is that “legalization leads to teen use”. Recent reports are showing that thought and argument to be not only untrue, but quite the opposite.
In a study called The Healthy Kids Colorado survey, 17,000 middle and high school students from 157 randomly selected schools in Colorado, were surveyed on their cannabis use. It was found that in 2013, “54 percent of teens in the state thought pot is risky”, which is down from 58 percent in 2011. If teens are starting to learn that marijuana is not as risky as once thought, then they can be taught and focus on other real issues and dangers, such as hard drugs and prescription pills. If the schools and parent's start focusing more on these other issues, the teen's will be more knowledgeable about the real threats to their safety as opposed to marijuana.
In another study the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a 2015 Youth Risk Behaviour Survey. The CDC data states, “the percentage of high schoolers ever reporting having used cannabis fell from an estimated 43 percent in 1995 to just under 39 percent in 2015”. So even though legalization has been introduced in Colorado, teen use is going down, not up.
In 2009, medical cannabis popped up all over the state of Colorado and teen use was reported at around 24.8 percent. After amendment 64 passed a couple of years later, teen use dropped to 22 percent, showing that legalization has attributed to a gradual decline over time.
In another area of the study, it seems that lifetime use has also dropped. With 42.6 percent of teens using in 2009 to 38 percent in 2015. Colorado, compared to the national average in the U.S was also less.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Not only do these recent studies show that attitudes towards cannabis are changing as the public learns more information about marijuana, but legalization is causing less use among teens. This research also shows others states in the U.S and countries around the world that the excuses that law-makers have been using against legalization in the past could be untrue.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE?
If the current trend continues and bogus assumptions of marijuana are continuously dis-proved, there will be less and less excuses for other states and countries around the world to hinder legalization. The legalization train is moving full speed ahead and these recent studies clearly show that legalization is not only changing attitudes about cannabis, but also helping to reduce consumption among teens.
Written by: Guest Writer
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