Teenage use of marijuana remains basically the same since the legalization of the recreational use of the herb in 2012, a survey made in Colorado shows. The common fear of that legalization will lead to higher rates of teenage drug use is an argument to stand against the pot clubs initiative.
The survey released on Monday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 21.2 percent of high schools students in Colorado had used marijuana in the last 30 days in 2015. Compared to the 22 percent of the students a survey reported in 2011, the year before legalization, the rate remains pretty much the same, and even lower.
The study was based on a sample of 17,000 middle and high school students. For the marijuana legalization advocates, it seems like a proof against the myth around legalization and increased use among teens. However, the use of marijuana and other substances during adolescence is by all means discouraged because of the health risks it could bring, including dependence on the drug.
The use of marijuana among teenagers in Colorado have not increased since it was made legal after the approval of Amendment 64 in 2012. According to national surveys, rates of teenage use in Colorado are lower than the national average. The average of youth marijuana use in Colorado reaches a 21.2%, compared to a 21.7% at the national level. Nevertheless, same national surveys have shown that, in general, teen marijuana use rates are decreasing.
— Aimee Shuman (@AimeeShuman) March 8, 2016
Legalization doesn’t necessarily mean incremented pot use
The explanation for the flat levels of teenage use of marijuana is that, for teenagers, pot is easily acquired. Legalization does not make much difference because of the easy access teens have had to the drug for years.
Even though this survey shows that legalization has not increased the rate of teenage marijuana use, there are still laws against the public use of the recreational drug. Despite that, there are people standing against the measure. They smoke in parks, in alleys and even on sidewalks, and they are given tickets for this. In Colorado, recreational sales of pot began on 2014. That year, the police wrote about 800 citations for people publicly smoking.
The whole idea of allowing and popularizing private pot clubs in Denver is to contain smokers in a single place. By having somewhere to go, pot smokers would limit themselves to enjoy these places.
Although legalization did not directly give the right to smoke weed on public space, Colorado’s constitution does not explicitly ban it. This leads to legal borders confusion, especially on what pot clubs policies concern.
While there are a few pot clubs operating in Denver, they remain underground. Same thing happens in Colorado Springs. In Pueblo County, clubs are allowed, but till the date there are none.
— Marijuana Policy (@mjpolchange) June 22, 2016
As for the proposal of allowing pot clubs, there are still impairments, since “there’s no good regulatory model for what these clubs should look like”, said Colorado Rep. Jonathan Singer to Associated Press. An agreement on how should they work has not been reached.
Source: Washington Post