Evidence continues to emerge regarding the damage to mind and body for youth at lower potency levels of 2-8% THC—much lower than the potency levels Colorado’s marijuana market is currently producing.

The studies and reports below effectively exhibit the dangers of youth marijuana use and the importance of ensuring Coloradans under 21 receive factual information about the demonstrated risks of using marijuana.

The below studies and reports effectively exhibit the dangers of youth marijuana use and the importance of ensuring Coloradans under 21 receive factual information about the demonstrated risks of using marijuana.


Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, September, 2016
This report gives a detailed overview into the affects of marijuana on the state of Colorado - from increases in drugged driving accidents, exposure, hospitalization, and youth use. View Report

National Institutes of Health, March 4, 2016
Marijuana use disorder is common in the United States, is often associated with other substance use disorders, behavioral problems, and disability, and goes largely untreated, according to a new study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. View Report


Promotes the diversion of non-violent drug offenders into treatment in lieu of incarceration through innovative programs like Drug Courts and other community services. Supporting youth and young adults in recovery and promoting approaches for assisting youth in recovery via school- and campus-based recovery efforts, including recovery schools and collegiate recovery communities. View Report

A decade in the making, this study was recently released by the journal Lancet Psychiatry finding that highly potent marijuana (skunk) was attributed to 1 in 4 cases of psychosis and that regular users (at least weekly) of skunk are 3-times more likely to suffer from a psychotic episode than those who have never tried it while daily users are 5-times more likely. View Report

A University of Texas study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows a link between the age that a person starts to use marijuana and severity of the long-term effects on the brain. Youth marijuana users are more susceptible to suffering from a permanently underdeveloped orbital frontal cortex in the brain, the area that controls decision-making and addiction. View Report

Recent reports show that fewer adolescents believe that regular cannabis use is harmful to health. Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education.View Report

A majority of past year illicit drug initiates reported that their first drug was marijuana (65.6 percent). About half (47.8 percent) of youths aged 12 to 17 reported in 2012 that it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" for them to obtain marijuana if they wanted some. View Report

Students who partake in marijuana often report lower IQ scores (as much as 8 points) and have “impaired neural connectivity” within the memory center of the brain. There is a chance of addiction with marijuana use, and the risk is higher for teens. View Report

Brain imaging studies show regular THC users have a smaller hippocampuses and poorer memory. Regular marijuana use during adolescence found to increase risk 2 to 5 5imes of developing psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression in adulthood.View Report

Accidental ingestion visits in patients younger than 12 years old that were marijuana related increased from 0 of 790 in 2009 to 14 of 588 in 2013. A new appearance of unintentional marijuana ingestions by young children after modification of drug enforcement laws for marijuana possession in CO. View Report

As the perceived risk of marijuana goes down, use goes up especially among adolescents. Risks posed to youth use of marijuana include lung problems, memory impairment, risk of heavy dependence, mental health problems and poor cognitive performance. View Report

Synthetic marijuana was the second-most widely used illicit drug among 10th and 12th graders after marijuana. Of the 12th graders who say that they have used marijuana in the 12 months prior to the survey and who reside in states that passed such laws by the end of the year prior to the survey, a third (34 percent) say that one of their sources of marijuana is another person's medical marijuana prescription. View Report

From 2005 through 2008, the yearly average number of marijuana-related exposures for children ages 0 to 5 years was 4. For 2009 through 2012, that number increased 200 percent to an average of 12 per year. In 2011, the national average for youth 12 to 17 years old considered “current” marijuana users was 7.64 percent which was the highest average since 1981. The Colorado average percent was 10.72. View Report