Surveys Show Drop In Marijuana Use Among Colorado Youth...But Do They Reflect Reality?

Dec 25, 2017

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According to state and federal surveys, the rate of marijuana use among Colorado youths is dropping – despite the fact that the drug is legal in the state. And crime statistics across the state back that up. Yet law enforcement officers who have direct contact with younger people paint a different picture.

As The Denver Post reports, state and federal surveys have declared that Colorado youths are not using marijuana more than before the drug became legal for adult recreational use in 2014, and that use among juveniles is actually dropping.

While statistics from district attorneys across the state on arrests and charges appear to back that up, law enforcement officers whose job it is to intervene and report drug use by teens offer a starkly different perspective.

A federally funded survey this year found that marijuana use among students has skyrocketed compared to 2016.

And a Denver Post review of available data found shortcomings in how marijuana cases are handled and tracked in Colorado schools, raising questions about the data’s reliability.