Reduced cannabis use among adolescents after cannabis legalization in Colorado

Since the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, USA, concern about increased use among young people has been a hot topic of discussion. Opponents of legalization have warned that easier access would lead to higher consumption among minors. However, recent research and surveys show that these fears have not come true. On the contrary, the use of cannabis among young people has continued to decrease since the change in the law came into force.

The statistics are clear

According to the latest “Healthy Kids Colorado Survey” from 2023, the percentage of high school students who report using cannabis in the last 30 days has dropped to 12.8 percent, from 13.3 percent in 2021. This trend has been consistent since legalization. In 2013, before the first legal cannabis shops opened, the figure was 20 percent. This significant decrease indicates that young people’s access to and use of cannabis has become less common.

Explanations for the decrease

Several factors can explain this decline. First, the regulation of cannabis sales has meant stricter control over who can buy the drug. Shops that sell cannabis must follow legal age limits and regulations, which makes it more difficult for minors to obtain the product. In addition, education and prevention programs have been intensified to inform young people about the risks of cannabis use.

Changed perception and access

The survey also showed that fewer young people now consider it easy to get hold of cannabis. Only 18 percent of high school students stated that they would be able to obtain cannabis within 24 hours, a decrease from previous years. This suggests that legalization and subsequent regulation have actually made it more difficult for young people to access cannabis.

Despite initial concerns, the legalization of cannabis in Colorado has not led to an increase in youth use. On the contrary, it has helped to reduce consumption through better regulation and educational efforts. This challenges the arguments of prohibition advocates and demonstrates the importance of well-thought-out laws and prevention programs.

Source:

Youth Marijuana Use In Colorado Continues To Decline Since Legalization Took Effect, Contradicting Prohibitionist Fears

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