Teen marijuana consumption continues to decrease in legal states

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Legalizing marijuana does not make more teenagers turn into consumers

2022 is already in its first half, and there are still several states where efforts are underway to end the year with a regulated and legal cannabis market. While concerns about these reforms are not off the minds of many, several recent studies have shown that legalization brings more advantages than consequences. In Colorado, a new survey conducted by the Department of Public Health and Environment showed that in the past year, young people were 35% less likely to use marijuana than in previous years.

The government-funded study comes in line with other findings confirming that the decline in the use of marijuana and other controlled substances by young people continues to be a growing trend. Colorado officials wanted to follow in Michigan’s footsteps after the results of its annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey were released. Great Lakes State reported an unprecedented year-over-year decline in use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders.

In the case of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Healthy Kids Colorado survey results, it revealed that in 2021 a large number of young people became less likely to use cannabis compared to previous years. The trend appears to date back to a decade ago, when the department’s biennial survey was initiated. Many cannabis advocates use this data to continue to support regulated access for adults, which instead of increasing youth use, decreases it.

According to the CDPHE report, only 13% of students surveyed said they had used cannabis in the past month, down from nearly 20% in 2013. Another similar study found that marijuana legalization laws are not associated with increased use among high school students.