Federal Government Reports Teen Marijuana Use In Colorado Still Has NOT Increased Since Legalization

Five years after Colorado voters decided to regulate marijuana for adult use, rates of current and lifetime use among high school students remain relatively unchanged and on par with national averages

COLORADO: A new federal report shows rates of teen marijuana use in Colorado have still not increased since voters decided to end marijuana prohibition in 2012 and start regulating it similarly to alcohol for adult use.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found 19.6 percent of Colorado students are currently using marijuana (compared to 19.8 percent nationwide), down from 21.2 percent in 2015 and 22 percent in 2011, the year before voters approved Amendment 64. The rate of lifetime use dropped to 35.5 percent in 2017 (compared to 35.6 percent nationwide), down from 38 percent in 2015 and 39.5 percent in 2011.

The Colorado and nationwide data for 2017 are available at the CDC website. The CDC released the nationwide YRBS data late last week, and it appears to have released the state-level data sometime this week.

Statement from Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert, who co-directed the campaign in support of Amendment 64:

“After five years of marijuana being legal for adults in Colorado, government surveys continue to find no increase in usage rates among high school students. This is very welcome news for Colorado, and it should be particularly welcome news for those who opposed the state’s legalization for fear it would lead to an explosion in teen use. Hopefully it will allay opponents’ concerns in other states where voters or lawmakers are considering proposals to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Colorado is proof that you can prevent teen marijuana use without arresting thousands of responsible adult marijuana consumers every year. Rather than debating whether marijuana should be legal for adults, let’s focus on how we can regulate it and control it to make it less available to teens.”

Colorado Gov. Still Isn’t High On Legalized Marijuana

COLORADO: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper did not support marijuana legalization before voters in his state gave it the stamp of approval at the polls in 2012. Four months into this “great social experiment” he tells us he still wouldn’t have supported it despite tax revenues coming in higher than officials thought and a burgeoning new industry.

“You don’t want to be the first at something like this,” he tells us in the accompanying video interview, taped at the Milken Institute Global Conference Tuesday. “It’s hard to create laws and regulations when no one has done it before,” he says. “Plus, Colorado becomes the butt of a lot of jokes…It comes with the territory, but we want to make sure there are no adverse consequences. It’s a great social experiment; we have an obligation to do it right.”

Gov. Hickenlooper announced his opposition to Amendment 64 in September 2012. The Nov. 6 ballot measure sought to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol, and went on to pass.

“Colorado is known for many great things –- marijuana should not be one of them,” he said at the time in a statement. “Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.” While Hickenlooper voiced sympathy towards the inequities of felony records for young people with “often minor marijuana transgressions,” he looked to state lawmakers and district attorneys to mitigate these issues.

Past Marijuana Convictions, Now Legal Under Amendment 64, Could Be Sealed

COLORADO: Coloradans convicted of a marijuana offense that would have been legal had  been in place could petition to have their records sealed under a bipartisan proposal unveiled Tuesday evening in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 218, which was granted late bill status and comes with just days until the 2014 session concludes, would allow residents to file a petition with district courts to have their records sealed — a move, say some lawmakers and pot advocates, that could impact thousands of residents.

Amendment 64 went into effect in December 2012 and allows for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for Coloradans age 21 and over. Moreover, it allows for adults to grow and cultivate their own marijuana.

Colorado Court Rules Some Marijuana Convictions Can Be Overturned

COLORADO: A Colorado judge ruled on Thursday that some people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana could have their convictions overturned.

The ruling has to do with the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012.

Judge Gale T. Miller, writing an opinion for the three-judge panel, found that the constitutional amendment legalizing possession of less than one ounce of pot “applies retroactively to defendants whose convictions under those provisions were subject to appeal or post-conviction motion on the effective date of the amendment.”

In English, that means this is a fairly narrow ruling that affects those who fought charges in court and whose appeals were in process when the amendment went into effect.

Pot connection? Colorado Schools Deny Spike In Applications Sparked By Marijuana Law

COLORADO: Colorado colleges and universities have seen a dramatic jump in applications, including from out of state, following the legalization of marijuana, but officials insist there’s no drug connection.

Applications to the University of Colorado are up 30 percent since Amendment 64 made recreational pot legal, according to Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan. But while several marijuana advocates told FoxNews.com it is hardly surprising that the Centennial State would become a mecca for college-bound tokers, MacLennan disagrees.

“We aren’t getting a lot of questions about this,” MacLennan said, referring to the new law.

 

Things To Do In Denver When You're Stoned

COLORADO:  So now that recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, you probably want to know how exactly how it works.

If you are coming from out of state, how much will you be able to buy? Where will you be able to buy it? Where are you allowed to smoke your legal Colorado cannabis? Can you take any of it with you back home? [Read more…]

Tickets For Public Pot Use In Boulder Quadruple Since Amendment 64

COLORADO:  In the year since Amendment 64 legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Colorado, Boulder police have issued nearly four times as many tickets for smoking pot in public — which is still illegal.

Boulder police Chief Mark Beckner said that while his officers have stopped ticketing people for mere possession of marijuana, more and more people have been smoking it in public since Amendment 64 was passed by voters. [Read more…]

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Visitors Exhibit Confusion About Colorado’s Marijuana Laws

COLORADO: The ski season is just two weeks old and already there appears to be some confusion about Colorado’s new laws governing personal marijuana use and possession.

According to a recent CBS Denver report, several visitors to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area have had their ski passes revoked due to public use of marijuana. A-Basin officials declined to comment about how many passes it has pulled so far this season and how ski area officials were made aware of the violations. [Read more…]

Editorial: Congress Lags Public On Marijuana Legalization

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  A Gallup poll released this week showing that 58 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana should send a clear message to Congress.

It is time to talk seriously about decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level and leaving the regulation of pot to the states. The federal government already is leaning this way on a smaller scale, agreeing to stand down in the face of pot legalization in Washington and Colorado. [Read more…]

Marijuana Legalization Could Suffer A Setback In Weed-Friendly Colorado

COLORADO:  The ACLU has come out against proposed regulations in Denver, Colorado that would criminalize use of the legal drug by making the “smell” of marijuana illegal. These unconstitutional rules create an environment where people are can possess the drug, but still may face legal consequences. [Read more…]