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Colorado: Devastating Impact of
Legalization on Marijuana Use
 
Past-month marijuana use among Colorado’s adolescents, ages 12-17, was 74 percent higher (12.56% vs. 7.22% nationwide) than the national average for the two years following legalization in the state, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
 
Further, the average usage rate in states that have not legalized marijuana for medical use is lower (5.99%) than the average in states that have (8.52%) and far lower than the states that have fully legalized pot (11.31%).
 
Past-month marijuana use among college-age young adults, ages 18-25, was 62 percent higher than the national average (31.24% vs. 19.32%). Use in full legalization states was nearly double that of use in non-medical pot states (27.86% vs. 16.43% in 2014).
 
Adult past-month use was 104 percent greater than the national average (12.45% vs. to 6.11% in 2014). Adult use in full legalization states was 11.83% vs. 4.7% in non-legalization states.
 
Read Rocky Mountain HIDTA Report here.
 
Vermont Health Department Issues
Health Impact Statement If Legalization Occurs

The Vermont Department of Health has issued a Health Impact Statement on the cost marijuana legalization could bring to its citizens.

In addition to a review of the scientific literature regarding the harmful effects of the drug, the report predicts that legalization would have a negative impact on nearly all areas of health and well-being, including use, safety, mental health, addiction, academic outcomes, and ED admissions.

As with a 2014 health report issued by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, the Vermont report evaluates the scientific literature from the perspective of not well researched, a fair amount of evidence, strong evidence, and very strong evidence. This helps those of us who are not scientists sort out what is real from what is not.

Read Vermont Department of Health report here.
 
Last Thing Struggling Students Need
is More Marijuana

Writing for the Hudson Institute, Senior Fellow David Murray comments on the devastating results of student performance in the District of Columbia, as assessed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams developed by 11 states and the District. The District spends $17,953 per pupil, more than all states except Alaska.

Murray points out that while no one is saying marijuana use caused such poor results, the fact is that marijuana use among minority students now exceeds that of whites. “Who will not face that marijuana use will most penalize those most at risk?” he asks.

“The clear science on adolescent marijuana use and school failure is undeniable,” he writes. “The loss of 8 IQ points from heavy use, the measurable detriment to memory and learning, the risks of depression and psychosis for the vulnerable, the greatly increased risk of school drop-out; these are now well-established associations, and they seem to worsen as marijuana potency skyrockets, while dependency becomes ‘more severe.’”

Read the Hudson Institute essay here.
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) 

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy. 

SAM has four main goals: 
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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