Dear Stoner: Can’t say I’m sad to see the 420 Rally leave. Too many high school kids there. Which brings up my question: Is Colorado’s legal weed increasing use among kids?
Dear Concerned: I don’t think we’ll ever know how many high school kids attended the event at Civic Center Park every April 20, but I can tell you from my own experience that a lot of them showed up. To be fair, I ditched class in high school once or twice with my friends on 4/20 — we just didn’t have a rally to go to. Not condoning it; that’s just what happened.
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A 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey by the State of Colorado showed that Colorado high schoolers are actually less likely to smoke pot compared to the national average. According to the study, 21.2 percent of Colorado high-schoolers used marijuana at the time, compared to 21.7 percent nationwide. Legalization hadn’t increased use, either: In 2009, 43 percent of Colorado high-schoolers said they had tried cannabis at least once in their lifetime, and 25 percent said they had used in the past month. But in 2015, a full year after recreational dispensaries opened, just 38 percent said they’d tried it at least once, while only 21 percent had tried it in the last thirty days.
Among kids in Colorado, Denver had one of the highest consumption rates, with an estimated 24 to 30 percent currently using marijuana when the survey was done in 2015. Much of the southwest region — specifically, Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties — has had higher usage rates, as did Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Pitkin, Pueblo and Summit counties.
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