Jumping Ahead Of Evidence, Prohibitionists Claim Legalizing Pot Boosts Underage Consumption

Colorado's numbers do not show what opponents of legalization claim.


Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

Pot prohibitionists claim that marijuana legalization in Colorado caused an increase in cannabis consumption by teenagers in that state. But as I explain in my latest Forbes column, the numbers so far do not support that claim:

This week Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, the two oldest members of the U.S. Senate and two of its most enthusiastic drug warriors, held a hearing on the Justice Department's response to marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. "When comparing the two-year average before and after legalization," Feinstein, a California Democrat, said in her opening statement, "current marijuana use among 12-to-17-year-olds increased by 20 percent…while the national average decreased by 4 percent. In my book, that's a very big statistic, and [it] tells you a lot."

That comparison, which comes from a report that the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) issued in January, is popular among opponents of legalization. But it does not tell us nearly as much as Feinstein thinks.

Read the whole thing.