A report released by the Colorado Department of Public Safety now shows how legalizing marijuana has affected the state. It’s the first official report with local, state and federal data.
When it comes to the impact of legalized marijuana on public safety, marijuana-related arrests were nearly cut in half between 2012 and 2014. Arrests for marijuana sales decreased by 24 percent. Locally, El Paso County saw a 30 percent decrease in marijuana arrests.
But there was an increase in marijuana use. In 2006, 21 percent of people ages 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past 30 days. In 2014, that number jumped to 31 percent.
The report also shows marijuana-related hospital visits have tripled since the drug became legal. Even with these statistics, DPS said these are early findings and it’s too early to draw any conclusions about the effects of legalizing marijuana.