Legalisation does NOT lead to an increase in young people smoking weed

The Washington Post reports:

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows.

In 2015, 21 percent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 percent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalization. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.

“The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally,” the Colorado health department said in a news release.

The claims of anti-legalisation campaigners have fallen way short, or not materialised at all. They were predicting a massive increase in usage, but that isn’t the case. What has happened, though, is people are no longer buying drugs from criminals, preferring to buy instead from authorised and licensed stores.

weed-stats-colorado

Opponents have often claimed that marijuana legalization would lead to more kids smoking pot, with all the negative health consequences that would entail. But the scant data available until now hasn’t borne this out.

National surveys have shown that teen marijuana use rates are falling across the country. But there haven’t been many numbers available specifically for states such as Colorado and Washington where it is legal.Federal data released late last year showed that teen use rates in Colorado and Washington were essentially flat, but they covered only 2014, the first year commercial marijuana was available in those states.

The latest data from Colorado includes 2015, reflecting two full years of the legal marijuana market’s effect. These numbers give the strongest indication yet that fears of skyrocketing adolescent use have not materialized.

“These statistics clearly debunk the theory that making marijuana legal for adults will result in more teen use,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Levels of teen use in Colorado have not increased since it ended marijuana prohibition, and they are lower than the national average. Elected officials and voters in states that are considering similar proposals should be wary of claims that it will hurt teens.”

Reefer madness has always been wrong. Now we are starting to get sensible statistics instead of supposition and emotive claims. We are seeing that the alarmist calls against legalisation are ridiculous.

 

– Washington Post


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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