Marijuana Policies and Policy Reform

Decriminalization and Legalization of Adult Marijuana Use, and Legalization of Medical Marijuana Use

Marijuana Legalization May Lead To Decreased Use By Young People

"Consistent with the results of previous researchers,2 there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al4 and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.6"

Impact of Marijuana Legalization on the State of Washington

"In these initial investigations, we found no evidence that I-502 enactment, on the whole, affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions. Further, within Washington State, we found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions.

"The bulk of outcome analyses in this report used the within-state approach to focus on identifying effects of the amount of legal cannabis sales. We found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected youth substance use or attitudes about cannabis or drug-related criminal convictions.

Arrests of Young People on Marijuana Charges in Colorado Since Legalization

"The number of juvenile marijuana arrests decreased 16%, from 3,168 in 2012 to 2,655 in 2017. The rate of juvenile marijuana arrests per 100,000 decreased from 583 in 2012 to 453 in 2017 (‐22%).

"The number of White juvenile arrests decreased from 2,146 in 2012 to 1,703 in 2017 (‐21%).

"The number of Hispanic juvenile arrests decreased from 767 in 2012 to 733 in 2017 (‐4%).

"The number of Black juvenile arrests decreased from 202 in 2012 to 172 in 2017 (‐15%)."

Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Traffic and Driving Safety in Colorado

"The increase in law enforcement officers who are trained in recognizing drug use, from 129 in 2012 to 214 in 2018, can increase drug detection rates apart from any changes in driver behavior.

"Traffic safety data were obtained from a number of different sources. Please note that traffic safety data may be incomplete because law enforcement officers may determine that alcohol is impairing the driver, and therefore additional (time consuming and costly) drug testing may not be pursued.

Marijuana Legalization and Arrests in Colorado

"The total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 52% between 2012 and 2017, from 12,709 to 6,153. Marijuana possession arrests, which make up the majority of all marijuana arrests, were cut in half (‐54%). Marijuana sales arrests decreased by 17%. Arrests for marijuana production increased appreciably (+51%%). Marijuana arrests that were unspecified, meaning the specific reason for the arrest was not noted by law enforcement, went down by 45%.

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