High and rising
Though the numbers are from before 2014, and thus don't address the effects of recreational marijuana legalization, a new study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health says Colorado has the second-highest percentage of marijuana users in the country. One out of every eight Coloradans over the age of 12 had used marijuana (outside the MMJ system) in the month prior to their being surveyed, a rate bested only by Rhode Island.
"For the 2011-12 period, 10.4 percent of Coloradans 12 and older reported using marijuana in the month prior to being surveyed. That placed Colorado seventh in the country for monthly marijuana use," wrote the Denver Post, which first reported the study. "Monthly use in Colorado jumped to 12.7 percent — a 22 percent increase — in the 2012-13 data. The result means the survey estimates about 530,000 people in Colorado use marijuana at least once a month."
As the Post notes, both federally and Colorado-funded studies have found that teen use has not seen a related increase.
CNBC will air Marijuana Country: The Cannabis Boom on Monday, Jan. 5, at 7, 8 and 10 p.m. MST. The original documentary looks at a year of legalization in Colorado, talking to: parents who treat their children with Charlotte's Web; Brandon Coats, whose case before the state Supreme Court will determine whether off-duty marijuana use is protected from employers who disapprove; and "two pot dealers — one of them a U.S. Army veteran — who profit from a black market that funnels the drug across state lines and continues to thrive despite the new law," according to a release.
"[Correspondent Harry] Smith also reports on the plight of medical refugees, a fellowship of hundreds of families that have moved to Colorado to obtain medicinal marijuana they can't get in their home states."
• Kick off the new year with the Weed Pimps at Speak Easy Vape Lounge (2508 E. Bijou St., 445-9083). The local cannabis group will host a party featuring musicians like Che Bong, DJ Gravity and others starting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31. Tickets for those 21 and up are $10.
• Last week, we mentioned that Boulder activist Kathleen Chippi, who leads the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, is suing the state to stop it from spending patient application fees on marijuana research. The Denver District Court suit says, "A medical research program is not an 'administrative cost' of maintaining a confidential registry of patients, physicians, and primary caregivers, therefore the proposed statutes and rules creating it should be enjoined and declared unconstitutional." Read it at tiny.cc/syanrx.