Despite fears that teen marijuana use would spike after recreational marijuana was legalized under Colorado law, recently released federal data indicates that use among teens has not only dropped, but dropped significantly.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, barely 9 percent of Colorado teens age 12 to 17 reported that they used marijuana monthly in 2015 and 2016 — representing the lowest rate since 2007-2008 and a substantial drop from the year before when more than 11 percent reported monthly use.
In addition, while last year’s survey ranked Colorado as No. 1 when it came to teen marijuana use, the Centennial State has now fallen to No. 7 following the sharp drop in this year’s data.
So even though many opponents of legal marijuana thought that teen use would inevitably increase, actual data shows that the exact opposite has occurred.
Is a federal marijuana crackdown coming?
While recreational marijuana use may be legal under Colorado law for adults over the age of 21, it is important to remember that it is legal for teens, not to mention illegal under federal law — which is why some continue to fear a marijuana crackdown by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
However, despite his outspoken opposition to the legalization of marijuana, AG Sessions has thus far adhered to the prior administration’s policy of not interfering with state-level marijuana legalization. Hopefully, for Colorado marijuana users, this policy will continue for the foreseeable future.