The sale of marijuana was made legal for adults in Colorado in December of 2012. And, according to a new survey, recreation use of the drug has actually fallen slightly among high schoolers since the legalization of the drug.
Critics of legalization feared that rates of marijuana use would go up in the years after it was made legal, butnow the rate of Colorado teen smoking is, in fact, below the national average.
In 2015, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 21.2 percent of Colorado high school students had smoked weed in the last month. In 2011, that number was 22 percent.
And the national average clocks in at 21.7 percent.
With calls for the legalization of recreational marijuana use being made in states all over the country, findings like this will surely play a large part in future legislation.
Mason Tvert, a pro-legalization spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, claimed that,
These statistics clearly debunk the theory that making marijuana legal for adults will result in more teen use.
Now, we can only speculate why the numbers of marijuana use went down among Colorado teens, so that is exactly what I’m going to do. Let my flagrant, dataless speculating begin!
1. In a lot of places, it can actually be easier for teenagers to get weed than alcohol because alcohol is regulated and there are (surprise) far fewer illegal beer dealers than illegal weed dealers.
2. Teenagers have zero idea how to smoke weed. Their main strategy for the recreational use of marijuana involves taking a single, titanic hit at a party, and then sitting in terrified, isolated silence until someone asks them if they want another hit. Without the added benefit of open law breaking, that paranoia coma becomes a little less appetizing to teens. After all, teens are already socially awkward and insecure as is.
3. If you’re going to be comparing being a teenager and getting high at a party with other high teenagers to being a teenager and getting drunk at a party with other drunk teenagers, the winner, by a mile, is drinking. It’s taken me a decade to figure out how to be happily stoned at a party. But it took me approximately 10 seconds when I was 16 to figure out how to be happily drunk at one.
Subscribe to Elite Daily’s official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don’t want to miss.