A new statewide study funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 13.6 percent of Colorado adults are regular users of marijuana — almost double the rate (7.4 percent) of the entire United States, according to recent Health and Human Services studies. The study also found 1 in 5 marijuana users in the state reported driving after using marijuana.
“This study shows once again that legalization promotes marijuana use and worsens its consequences,” Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “According to state estimates of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adult use has risen in Colorado almost 20 percent since 2012 (10.4 percent v. 12.9 percent). If we are to use this new, Colorado state generated data, adult use has risen by even more than that.”
“Marijuana legalization and commercialization is a failed policy, and this new report details the impact on many of our populations already impacted by alcohol and tobacco use,” said Bob Doyle, chairman of Colorado SAM and a public health professional with more than 20 years of experience in tobacco prevention.
Highlights of the survey that included closer looks at rates of adult pot use included:
- One in 3 users are daily users.
- Black adults in Colorado are using at almost 50 percent higher than the state average for adults.
- Hispanics have the lowest use rates.
- Low-income Colorado adults are using at higher rates than the state average.
- Almost a third of 18-24 year olds are using marijuana.
- Almost one-third of gay and lesbian adults are using marijuana — more than twice the state average for adults.
- Almost 1 in five reported driving after using marijuana.
“The marijuana industry is getting rich while our communities, healthcare system, employers, and families pay the costs,” Doyle added.
SAM is a nonpartisan, 501-c-3 organization of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who oppose marijuana legalization and want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in 30 states. Dr. Christian Thurstone serves on the organization’s board of science advisors.