Colorado just released a new report from the state’s Division of Criminal Justice that is shedding light on the impact of marijuana legalization in the state, nearly eight years after voters there passed an historic ballot measure to end prohibition on pot.
The report, released this month, provides a wide array of data points detailing how legalization has affected law enforcement and marijuana use among Colorado residents. For example, the report notes that between 2012, when Colorado voters passed the amendment legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana, and 2019, “marijuana-related court filings declined 55 percent between 2012 and 2019, from 9,925 to 4,489.”
The report also found a notable spike in cannabis use among adults––perhaps not a surprise given the greater accessibility after the change in law. “In 2019, 19.0 percent of adults reported marijuana use in the past 30 days,” the report stated, “compared to 13.4 percent in 2014, a significant increase.”
That usage is particularly pronounced among men in Colorado: “Males have significantly higher past 30-day use (22.9 percent) than females (15.1 percent),” according to the report.
Colorado Breaks Down Usage
The highest 30-day use occurred among adults aged 26-34, nearly 30 percent of whom reported using marijuana in that span. That