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Survey: Colorado teens not smoking more since pot became legal

An unknown subject lights a marijuana joint. (AP Photo)

Kids are not smoking any more weed than they did before Colorado voters legalized the drug in 2012.

Youth marijuana use remains relatively unchanged since 2009, according to a bi-annual Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment survey released Monday.

The survey of 17,000 randomly selected students from more than 157 middle and high schools also showed current use among Colorado youth to be slightly less than the national average.

The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally, according to the Colorado health department’s news release.

Demitri Downing, an Arizona-based medical marijuana industry expert, said the study clearly shows the people Arizona that there will be no change in youth use if marijuana is legalized.

“Teenagers who are going to use it can use it now,” he said. “Teenagers who are going to experiment can experiment now in all the states in the union.”

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the Colorado study is problematic.

“One of the things that you’ve got to keep in mind too is that in Colorado not every and not every municipality legalized marijuana,” he said. “So you’re going to have usage rates vary greatly within the state.”

The study does not account for the increase in expulsion and suspension rates, Montgomery said, and it provides way too much significance to such a low response rate study.

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