KRDO.com 18 December 2015
For the first time, Colorado ranks first across the country for marijuana use by youths, according to a new federal survey released Friday.
The survey, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Colorado ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the previous two surveys.
The survey gathered responses from 70,000 people between the ages of 12 and 20. Each participant earned $30.
Experts said the survey results make sense because youths in states with legalized marijuana are exposed to it more and have a greater possibility of using it.
Kimble Gingrich, a senior deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and a school resource officer, said he’s not surprised by the results because it bears out what he hears from students every day.
“I believe that marijuana gets in the way of kids being successful at school,” he said. “But they don’t tell me specifically where they use it, when they use it. They don’t give me the information I need to get in the way of it. Because it’s legal, we have desensitized our kids to the dangers of it.”