Colorado: the consequences of cannabis legalization?
Colorado publishes a report detailing the evolution of consumption trends, 8 years after the legalization of cannabis in the state.
The report, released in July, is made up of data and statistics analyzing the impact that the introduction of cannabis laws has had on everyone’s consumption patterns and how the laws have been applied.
One notable change would be the sharp decrease in the number of complaints filed. Between 2012 and 2019, the report indicates that “the number of cannabis-related complaints decreased by 55%, from 9,925 to 4,489”. Another finding made, the arrests, which are a great debate in the United States, creating a racial war and many injustices, also decreased sharply. They fell by 68% between 2012 and 2019, from 13,225 to 4,290. The racial struggle is not over, however, according to statistics, blacks are always arrested twice as much as whites within the state. These consist violent habits that discriminate against a minority that is subject to the same laws as the rest of the population.
On consumption, the report says, “In 2019, 19% of adults reported using marijuana in the past 30 days, up from 13.4% in 2014, a significant increase.” Surprisingly, adults aged from 26 to 34 are the biggest users, with 30% of them having used cannabis in the past 30 days. They are, however, closely followed by 18-25 year olds with 28.8%, then 35-64 year olds with 17.3%.
Consumption patterns have also changed, according to the report: Those who report smoking cannabis flowers have decreased from 87.2% of users in 2016 to 76.1% in 2019. This can be compared to the increases in eating/drinking (35.2% in 2016 to 43% in 2019), vaping (22.9% in 2016 to 32% in 2019).»
Legalization therefore appears to be a real source of progress, both for consumers and for justice. However, even if the laws tend towards social equity, injustice is still noticable, leading to questions about a certain culture of violence in the United States.