Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Volume 3, September 2015

Colorado’s annual report shows an increase in impaired driving, youth marijuana use, adult marijuana use, emergency room marijuana and hospital marijuana related admissions, and treatment admissions.

By the end of 2012, Colorado had over 108,000 medical marijuana cardholders. People often choose medical marijuana over recreational marijuana because taxes on medical marijuana are significantly lower.

Recreational marijuana use began in 2013; by 2014, in one year:

  • They found a 45 percent increase in marijuana positive toxicology reports for those primarily driving under the influence.
  • They found a 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths.
  • They found a 29 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits.
  • They found a 38 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related hospitalizations.

Marijuana-related self-reported calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC) show an increase.

In 2014, marijuana-only related exposures for all ages increased 72 percent in only one year.

During 2013 – 2014, (children ages 0 to 5 years old) the average number of children with marijuana-related exposures was 31 per year. This is a 138 percent increase from the medical marijuana commercialization years (2009 – 2012) average which was a 225 percent increase from prior years (2006 – 2008).

There was a 40 percent increase in drug-related suspensions and expulsions in Colorado from school year 2008/2009 to 2013/2014.


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