Teen use of Marijuana down in Colorado and Nationwide

Young adults choosing cannabis over alcohol

Photo courtesy of cannabislifenetwork

According to a new federal survey, teen marijuana use in Colorado has decreased to its lowest level in nearly ten years, and rates of adolescent alcohol, heroin, and tobacco use have also reduced.

Numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that a little more than 9 percent of Colorado teens age 12 to 17 used marijuana monthly in 2015 and 2016, a significant drop from the prior period. Colorado fell to No. 7 in the national ranking of teen marijuana use, behind Alaska, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Since state and local authorities have taken over regulating the sale of marijuana, teen use appears to be dropping, and, since there are severe penalties in selling to minors, regulated cannabis businesses are checking IDs even more.

Teen marijuana use fell nationwide in 2016, but usage in young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 and adults age 26 and over has increased. Alcohol usage has also decreased by at least four percent for adults ages 18 to 25 years old. A decrease in alcohol usage suggests that young adults are choosing marijuana instead of alcohol.

Could this be the start of a substantial public health win, especially taking into consideration what public health experts know about the harmfulness of alcohol versus cannabis?