According to new data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the percentage of adolescents in Colorado who used cannabis in the past year (2015-2016) has gone down more than two points as compared to the previous one-year period (2014-2015). This is the lowest decline in the rate of teen marijuana use Colorado has seen in nearly a decade.
State-level numbers from the federally funded survey show that among 12- to 17-year-old kids in Colorado, 16.21 per cent said they consumed weed in the 2015-2016 period. This is down from 18.35 per cent recorded in 2014-2015.
Colorado was the first state in the U.S. to open recreational cannabis markets, legalizing it in 2014. It ranked No. 2 in adolescent marijuana use last year, behind Alaska, and anti-cannabis groups used this as argument proving that cannabis legalization failed to protect the youth from drug consumption.
With this drop in the current survey period’s number, Colorado fell to No. 6 in the latest national ranking. Alaska retained its No. 1 spot in marijuana consumption among teens 12 to 17 years old (18.86 per cent), followed by Oregon (17.35 per cent), Montana (17.04 per cent), Rhode Island (16.85 per cent), and Maine (16.22 per cent).
The latest survey also showed the same trend for New Jersey’s adolescent marijuana use. For the 2015-2016 period, 10.8 per cent of teens aged 12 to 17 had used weed. This number is down from 12.4 per cent in the 2014-2015 period. Cannabis legalization is still on the horizon for the state.
The same goes for numbers in Washington State, which was in the top five in the previous survey. From 15.61 per cent in 2014-2015, teen marijuana use rate fell down to 13.54 in 2015-2016. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., the decrease was almost three points, from 16.55 per cent to 13.58 per cent.
Here’s how the top five states in the previous one-year period did in the latest marijuana consumption survey among 12- to 17-year-olds:
It can be seen the Alaska’s numbers slightly rose, as did New Mexico.
Alaska, Washington D.C., Washington State, and Oregon have also legalized cannabis.
To view the complete table presented by the National Survey – along with the numbers for other age groups and other tables representing marijuana use for the past month – click here.
Across the United States, marijuana use among 12- to 17-year-olds fell from 13 per cent in 2014-2015 to 12 per cent in 2015-2016.
The survey shows that more adolescents in legalized states use marijuana than the national average, despite the allowable age being 21.
Overall numbers also showed that there aren’t any states where the share of adolescents using cannabis increased by a significant amount. And in a number of states, including Colorado, California, New Jersey, Texas, and Maryland, teen marijuana use rates fell considerably.