On April 19, 2016, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, issued “Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings,” a 147-page report on the impacts of Amendment 64, specifically reporting on public safety, public health and youth.
Public safety data found that the total number of marijuana arrests decreased 46% from 2012 to 2014, possession arrests decreased by 47% and marijuana sales arrests decreased 24%. In 2015, burglary accounted for 63% of marijuana industry-related crime in Denver.
Public health data found that young adult marijuana usage within the past 30 days increased from 21% in 2006 to 31% in 2014. Current adult marijuana use increased from 5% in 2006 to 12% in 2014.
Youth data captured in 2013 found that only 20% of high school students had used marijuana within the past 30 days, but use of marijuana does increase by grade level. The report explained, “the perception of health risk of using marijuana is declining among youth in Colorado.”
The report also revealed information regarding the business-side of Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.
As of December 2015, Colorado had 2,538 licensed marijuana businesses, with 70% of licenses concentrated in the following four counties: Denver (1,112), El Paso (308), Pueblo (202), and Boulder (169).
In 2015, the state collected $135,100,465 in total revenue from taxes, licenses and fees, representing a 77% increase from the $76,152,468 collected in 2014. School capital construction assistance received $35,060,590 in 2015 from excise tax revenue.
For additional data on public safety, public health and youth impacts, access the full report here.