The legalisation of marijuana continues to be a social disaster in Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have just released their bi-annual “Monitoring Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado” report. The report finds there have been significant increases in past-month and daily or near-daily use among adults, marijuana-impaired driving, exposures in children under the age of five, and use of high potency forms of the drug among high school students.
Also, despite constant statements to the contrary, after an initial reduction in use, regular youth marijuana use among those under 15 rose 14.8% in 2019 versus 2017.
According to the report, there were significant increases in the use of high potency concentrates among high schoolers in Colorado. Since the last release of this report, marijuana vaping among high schoolers rose 70 percent while the use of marijuana “dabs” has risen 49 percent. Among high school students who reported use of marijuana in the past month, the use of dabs saw a significant 156 percent increase.
According to CDPHE, there has been a dramatic increase in the annual frequency of accidental exposure of children (aged 0-5) to marijuana with a total of 37 reports in 2016 versus 95 in 2019. The number of accidental exposures in 2019 represents the highest such total to date. Marijuana edibles (which are abundantly found in kid-friendly forms) account for the largest proportion of marijuana exposures.
In a similar vein, the report found that since 2017, emergency department discharges with marijuana-related billing codes among children aged 0-9 years saw a significant, 66 percent increase.
Since the release of 2017 data, daily or near-daily use among Colorado adults has increased 20 percent (7.6 percent in 2017 versus 9.1 percent in 2019), and nearly half (48.2 percent) of adult marijuana users in the state consumed the substance on a daily basis. This is concerning as daily use of today’s higher potency marijuana has been shown to increase the risk of developing severe mental illness such as psychosis up to fivefold.