DENVER – Marijuana usage among Coloradans, both young and old, has increased significantly since the drug was legalized and now the state ranks No. 1 in consumption in both age groups, according to a new report released Tuesday.
The report, prepared by investigators with the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA), details some of the negative impacts marijuana legalization has had on Colorado.
According to the 168-page report, Colorado youth now ranks No. 1 in the nation for marijuana use and 55 percent higher than the national average. Adult use in the state also comes up on top, which the report notes is 124 percent higher than the national average.
The spike in usage could be contributing to an increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, the report found. Since 2013, RMHIDTA says marijuana-related traffic deaths more than doubled to approximately one death every three days.
In 2016, 20 percent of all traffic deaths were marijuana-related compared to only 9 percent six years ago, the report found.
The report also points out that seizures of Colorado marijuana to other states increased 20 percent by vehicle and over 300 percent by parcels.
The authors of the report say the findings are based on available data and information from a variety of credible sources.