With marijuana legalization coming up for a vote in five states this fall, the debates are starting to heat up. And this week, a group of politicians and law enforcement officials from Colorado spoke out against legalization in Arizona. The big problem with what these officials said, however, is that they cite myths about cannabis that can’t be backed up by actual evidence.
This fall, Arizona is one of five states that will vote whether or not to legalize recreational cannabis. In Arizona, the initiative is called Proposition 205. This week, a group opposed to Proposition 205 held a press conference. And they were joined by some guest speakers. Colorado Springs, Colorado Mayor John Suthers and a police sergeant from Thornton, Colorado showed up to speak out against legalization.
“The problem with the leap to legalization is the message it sends to young people in terms of their perception of risk,” said Suthers. “That’s what’s caused the dramatic increase in youth use in Colorado.”
There are some big problems with Suthers’ comments. His main message is that legalization leads to increased use of cannabis among young people. But unfortunately for him, that claim just isn’t backed up by actual data.
The Real Data About Teens And Cannabis
Suthers and other anti-pot pundits keep relying on the same old false myths about cannabis. And one of the biggest is that legalization harms young people. But it’s time to set the record straight. This is what’s really going on with teens and cannabis.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new stats about drug use. They said that cannabis use among adults is on the rise. But cannabis use among teens has actually been dropping. In fact, since 2002, there’s been a 10 percent decrease in the number of teens who used marijuana in the previous month.
And that trend is true in Colorado, too. According to the most recent data, the number of teens using cannabis in Colorado has stayed the same since the state legalized marijuana. Here’s how the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey put it.
“Four out of five Colorado high school students have not used marijuana in the last 30 days, a rate that remains relatively unchanged since 2013. Colorado does not significantly differ from the national average in lifetime or current marijuana use.”
The reality is a far cry from Mayor Suthers’ claim that there’s been a “dramatic increase” in teen cannabis use. It sounds like Suthers and the anti-pot movement in Arizona are relying on myths that can’t be backed up by any actual evidence.