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Published on August 18th, 2014 | by News Feed

Marijuana Use Declining in Colorado High Schools

In debates about legalizing marijuana, opponents love to argue that it would have a horrible impact on teens. After all, if you legalize pot then it will be more readily available for young people to access. Nothing good can come from making weed legal, right? Well it appears that the critics were wrong. Since Colorado legalized marijuana, a surprising shift has happened among high school students. The latest reports reveal that the number of kids using pot is actually declining!

Back in 2011, the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey found that 22 percent of high school students had used marijuana within the past month, with 39 percent reporting that they had tried it at least once in their lifetimes. After the first full year of pot being legal for adults in Colorado, everyone was waiting anxiously to see if the numbers would change. While many expected a drastic rise in teens using pot, it actually was quite the opposite. The 2013 survey revealed that only 20 percent had used marijuana in the last month while 37 percent had tried it in the past. Overall, teen interest in pot seems to be gradually fading.

The National Bureau of Economic Research has been closely following the outcome of legalizing marijuana in Colorado. One of the expected results was an increase in teen experimentation with pot, but the latest data is proving many experts wrong.  At this point, the results are still very premature and follow up studies in the future will give a better look at how legalization has impacted Colorado’s teenagers.

For now, we can only speculate about why teens are suddenly smoking less weed. Perhaps it’s mostly because it’s not as taboo anymore. Maybe the biggest appeal of smoking pot was the rebellion. When it’s not actually an illicit activity and marijuana is easily available around your community, then maybe it loses some of the initial attraction. Why do you think fewer teens are experimenting with marijuana now that it is legal?

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