We were all told that there would be more intoxicated drivers on the road, and that someone must think of the children. But it turns out that highway fatalities are down in Colorado since Legalization.
We were told that marijuana was a gateway drug, and would lead to increased drug use. But it turns out that's wrong too. All drug-related criminal offenses dropped by an average of 23%.
We were told that there was a serious danger of kids receiving marijuana edibles with their Halloween candy, but that never happened. Not even once.
And now we've learned a new fact about teenagers that is rather interesting. Teens would be using it like crazy if it were legal, we were told. And all of this concern for the children might be one of the strongest arguments against allowing this substance to be legal. If it were true.
But this isn't true either.
According to a recent survey from the Marijuana Policy Project, marijuana use among teens is actually down, and is now officially below the national average.
"The biannual Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) found that 21.2% of high school students in Colorado reported using marijuana within the past 30 days in 2015, down slightly from 22% in 2011, the year before Amendment 64 was approved and enacted, and 24.8% in 2009, the year hundreds of medical marijuana stores began opening throughout the state."
A spokesperson had this to say:
"These statistics clearly debunk the theory that making marijuana legal for adults will result in more teen use. Levels of teen use in Colorado have not increased since it ended marijuana prohibition, and they are lower than the national average. Elected officials and voters in states that are considering similar proposals should be wary of claims that it will hurt teens."
Marijuana use among teens is not increasing in Colorado. The experiment in Colorado is showing that marijuana is not the boogeyman that many had feared.
There is certainly still a debate remaining over the most effective ways of regulating this new industry, but we can certainly do without scare tactics.