'What about the children?' Kevin Sabet, Patrick Kennedy, and other marijuana opponents should make T-shirts with that phrase on it and wear it at every speaking engagement that they get paid to appear at. Many of their arguments against marijuana reform revolve around that phrase these days. Marijuana opponents try hard to scare the American public into thinking that if/when marijuana is legalized, a teenage stoner epidemic will immediately follow. Unfortunately for marijuana opponents, statistics released by Colorado state health officials this week prove that marijuana opponents' claims are wrong. Per The Durango Herald:
Thirty-day marijuana use fell from 22 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2013, and lifetime use declined from 39 percent to 37 percent during the same two years, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey released by the Department of Public Health and Environment.
"Regulating marijuana is working in Colorado. The drop in teen use reflects the fact that state and local authorities have far more control over marijuana than ever before," said Mason Tvert, a proponent of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, and spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Hopefully, elected officials and voters in other states are paying attention."
If Kevin Sabet and Patrick Kennedy are truly worried about teenage marijuana use after legalization, than they can put their fears to rest. Not only is there not an epidemic of teenage marijuana consumption in Colorado after legalization, but statistics show that teenage consumption is declining in Colorado after legalization. Want to reduce teenage consumption of marijuana in your state? Legalize marijuana. Math is impossible to argue with, and I can't wait to see what Mr. Sabet, Mr. Kennedy, and the other folks at S.A.M. have to say about the new statistics.