Summary of a Few Key Findings from Throughout the Report
Section One: Potency and Price of Marijuana
Nationally, the average potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive found in marijuana, has risen in marijuana concentrates from 13.23% in 1995 to 60.95% in 2018.
Nationally, the average potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive found in marijuana, has risen in traditional marijuana from 3.96% in 1995 to 16.16% in 2018.
The price of a pound (lb.) of marijuana in California can vary from $100 to $2000 depending on THC potency level.
Section Two: Vaping
Nationally, lifetime (any) vaping use among middle and high school students has increased from 2017 to 2019: 8th grade increased from 1.6% to 3.9%, 10th grade increased from 4.3% to 12.6% and 12th grade increased from 5.0% to 14.0%.
Nationally in 2019, the daily use of nicotine vaping is higher than the daily use of smoking tobacco across all grade levels: 1.9% vs. 0.8% in 8th grade, 6.9% vs. 1.3% in 10th grade and 11.7% vs. 2.4% 12th grade.
Nationally, the 30-day prevalence of marijuana (non-vaping), vaping marijuana and cigarette use increased across 8th, 10th and 12th graders from 2017 to 2019, with the exception of cigarette use in 10th and 12th graders in 2019 which decreased from 5% to 3.4% and 9.7% to 5.7%.
From 2017 to 2018, national past month marijuana vaping use among college aged individuals more than doubled in those enrolled in college, while remaining relatively stable among those not in college.
Section Three: California Youth Marijuana Use Ages 12-17
California youth have consistently had a lower perception of risk of smoking marijuana once a month, compared to the national average (2010-2018).
California continues to have a higher rate of past month use of marijuana in individuals ages 12 and older (2011-2018).
Nationally in 2019, vaping (any substance) has surpassed alcohol and marijuana use for 8th and 10th graders.
Section Four: California Marijuana Use Ages 18-25
From 2017 to 2018, California’s marijuana use by 18 to 25 year olds continued to surpass their use of cigarettes, 25.16% vs. 14.52%.
In California, 36.3% of adults aged 18 to 25 reported using cigarettes, e-cigarettes or marijuana in 2018.
Section Five: California Marijuana Use Ages 26 and Older
From 2017 to 2018, California’s marijuana use for individuals 26 years and older continued to surpass the national average, 10.39% vs. 8.25%.
Section Six: California Arrests for Drug Sales, DUI and Possession of Cannabis While Driving
In California, (state) arrests for the sale of marijuana has decreased from 2015 (8,368) to 2018 (1,857).
Section Seven: Public Health
From 2016 (125,418) to 2019 (236,954), California Emergency Department visits and admissions for any related marijuana abuse has increased by 89%.
From 2005 (1,412) to 2019 (16,151) there was a 1044% increase in California emergency department visits and admissions for primary marijuana abuse, with a 56% increase from 2016 (10,361) to 2019 (16,151).
From 2005 (1,393) to 2019 (14,993) there was a 976% increase in California emergency department visits with marijuana as the primary reason for being seen.
Section Eight: Treatment
In California in 2019, 41% of marijuana treatment admissions were amongst those 12 to 17 years of age.
Section Nine: Diversion and Eradication
In 2019, 59% of illegal marijuana plant seizures occurred on private land (trespass grows/not by owner), which was a significant increase from 44% in 2018.
United States Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (nationwide) marijuana seizures have increased by 176% from 59,396 lbs. in FY 2019 to 164,216 lbs. in 2020 (TD August).
Section Ten: THC Extraction Labs
There were 194 reported clandestine lab incidents in California in 2019. Out of the 194 reported labs, 72.6% were honey oil/THC extraction (141), followed by precursor chemicals 9.3% (18).
Section Eleven: Environmental Impacts of Marijuana Cultivation
Outdoor marijuana grow sites consume an estimated 29.4 million gallons of water per year.
Researchers estimate over 1.4 million pounds of fertilizers and toxicants are used annually at outdoor marijuana grows sites in California.
THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO: THE IMPACT
Volume 7 September 2020 Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) program has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and information so that policy makers and citizens can make informed decisions on the issue of marijuana legalization.
Section I: Traffic Fatalities & Impaired Driving
- Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013, traffic deaths in which drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 135% while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 24%.
- Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 129 people killed in 2019.
- This equates to one person killed every 3 1/2 days in 2019 compared to one person killed every 6 1/2 days in 2013.
- Since recreational marijuana was legalized, the percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related increased from 15% in 2013 to 25% in 2019.
Section II: Marijuana Use
Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013:
- Past month marijuana use (ages 12 and older) increased 30% and is 76% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
- Past month adult marijuana use (ages 18 and older) increased 19% and is 73% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
- Past month college age marijuana (ages 18-25) use increased 6% and is 50% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
- Past month youth marijuana (ages 12-17) use decreased 25%and is 43% higher than the national average, currently ranked 7th in the nation.
Section III: Public Health
- Marijuana only exposures more than quadrupled in the seven-year average (2013-2019) since recreational marijuana was legalized compared to the seven-year average (2006-2012) prior to legalization.
- Treatment for marijuana use for all ages decreased 21% from 2009 to 2019.
- The percent of suicide incidents in which toxicology results were positive for marijuana has increased from 14% in 2013 to 23% in 2018.
Section IV: Black Market
- RMHIDTA Colorado Drug Task Forces (10) conducted 278 investigations of black-market marijuana in Colorado resulting in:
- o 237 felony arrests
- o 49 tons of marijuana seized
- o 68,600 marijuana plants seized
- o 29 different states the marijuana was destined
- Seizures of marijuana reported to the El Paso Intelligence Center in Colorado increased 17%from an average of 242 parcels (2009-2012) to an average of 283 parcels (2013-2019) during the time recreational marijuana has been commercialized.
Section V: Societal Impact
- Marijuana tax revenue represent approximately 0.85% of Colorado’s FY 2019 budget.
- 67% of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and recreational marijuana businesses.
For complete data go to… Volume 7: Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area – Colorado 2020
Cannabis Conundrum Communication Team