Teen marijuana use in Colorado down post-legalization | AspenTimes.com

Teen marijuana use in Colorado down post-legalization

The latest results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health align with data collected by the state's Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.

Alicia Wallace and John Ingold
The Denver Post

Regular marijuana use among Colorado middle and high school students declined after the start of legal cannabis sales to adults in the state, new federal data show.

The latest results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health align with data collected thus far by Colorado and, as such, seem to provide some added reassurance to state regulators on a key goal: keeping marijuana out of the hands of kids and teens.

Larry Wolk, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the new federal numbers offer "glimmers of hope." But he also noted the federal survey's relatively small sample size and said a more thorough understanding of Colorado youth marijuana use will come next spring, when the state releases its own survey with a larger sample size.

"We at least get a glimmer of reassurance," Wolk said of the new federal numbers. "I'd say that on the flip side too, if there were an increase. I'd say there's a glimmer of concern."

The new results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, or NSDUH, cover the 2015-2016 time period. In those results, 9.08 percent of Colorado youths, aged 12 to 17, reported using marijuana in the month prior to being surveyed, according to the report. During the 2014-2015 period, 11.13 percent of youths that age reported using marijuana in the previous month.

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