By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4) – The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area wants you to read their latest report about the impact of legal weed since 2013. So you know, they’re the feds.

Tom Gorman runs the local office and says his study is filled with valuable facts for other states considering legalization. He says it’s a must read for parents, too.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Here it is,” he says candidly. “You decide whether you think (marijuana) is good or bad.”

Gorman says his group pulls the data from national drug usage surveys, highway transportation statistics and police investigations.

RELATED STORIES: Marijuana Legalization Story Archive

Here are the highlights in just three years since legalization:

  • Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 48 percent.
  • Over 20 percent of all traffic deaths were marijuana related compared to only 10 percent six years ago.
  • Marijuana-related emergency department visits increased 49 percent.
  • Marijuana-related hospitalizations increased 32 percent.
  • Marijuana-related calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center increased 100 percent.
  • Diversion of Colorado marijuana to other states increased 37 percent by vehicle and 427 percent by parcels.
  • Colorado youth now rank number one in the nation for marijuana use and 74 percent higher than the national average.
  • Colorado college-age group now rank number one in the nation for marijuana use and 62 percent higher than the national average.
  • Colorado adults now rank number one in the nation for marijuana use and 104 percent higher than the national average.

Brian Vicente is with Sensible Colorado. He’s a marijuana activist and co-author of Amendment 64, the measure passed by voters to legalize marijuana. He questions the Rocky Mountain HIDTA’s data.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“They kinda just hand pick statistics and try to present this case that the sky is falling in Colorado,” says Vincente.

He believes the average Coloradan is happy with legalization based on jobs and tax revenue.

Gorman says there’s a dark side too. Colorado youth, college age and even adults now rank number one in the nation for pot use according to RMHIDTA.

Gorman believes are kids are mostly paying the price based of legalization based on what school resource officers are seeing on the front lines.

“These kids are going out at lunch and getting loaded,” says Gorman. “They sit in back of the class and are not being educated. Is this good? Is this the workforce that we want? Are these the people we want leading this country later on?”


Teen Use Of Marijuana In Colorado

Cannabis DUI Statistics And Trends In Colorado

Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

Comments (16)
  1. gypsy says:

    It will be in the ballot in az this Nov ,,hoping they don’t legalize ,,card holders in our state are not able to buy guns or be a gun owner way to control guns ..I believe in the benefit of cannabis use ,,in the health department ..but most users will mix it with alcohol ..talking by experience …it is a big market ..and all about the greed of money $$$$”$

    1. Laurie McClure says:

      gypsy, I agree with you except I doubt the medical value. I have metastatic cancer and my oncologist said I could get a prescription from her, if that’s what I wanted. I’ve had it for 10 months. I find the usual pain relievers and nausea drugs do the trick and I expect they are way better regulated. Most people who want to get out of their heads with MJ will use one or more other drugs, including alcohol, for the same reason. I suggest young people stay clean, experience a non-drug inspired laugh and smiles and enjoy real life :)

  2. Steve Oroszi says:

    “Brian Vicente is with Sensible Colorado. He’s a marijuana activist and co-author of Amendment 64, the measure passed by voters to legalize marijuana. He questions the Rocky Mountain HIDTA’s data.”

    Of couse he does. And he was high when he read the report.

  3. Pieter Weir says:

    If this guy wanted to have a real discussion on these claims he must also bring in the effects of alcohol. The numbers on alcohol related deaths, ER visits, health related costs, etc are staggering compared to all other drugs, including pot combined. Just one mans opinion and he is entitled to it, but exaggerating and playing with numbers to promote your weak argument isn’t.

  4. Mike Krause says:

    Just keep in mind that HIDTA owes its existence, and budget, to prohibition and the war on drugs, and its beneficiaries will fight tooth and nail to keep their power and positions.

  5. Pat Schroeder says:

    Ridiculous!!! Just more propaganda from the Feds!

  6. Brian Moore says:

    This reporter must have been completely baked. Why else would she spell Brian Vincente’s name ‘Brain’? Ant editors there?

  7. DaveBarnes says:

    These are great statistics (lies) from the Federales.

  8. Ryan Hyle says:

    It sounds like they are just looking for a boogie man under the bed. I don’t think there are really more people getting high I think more people are willing to admit it now that it’s legal. When I was in high school a large percentage of kids had tried pot or used it regularly. Have test scores and graduation rates in high schools or colleges been effected? Were the people engaged in the fatal wrecks and emergency visits on any other drugs or alcohol? Sounds like a bunch of voodoo statistics and you know the definition of a statistician. He’s the guy that stands with his head in a hot oven and his feet in a bucket of ice water and says on the average I feel fine

  9. Joe Smith says:

    Gorman is fighting to maintain his livelihood so it’s safe to assume that he will say or do anything to persist prohibition. Sad to see someone trying so hard to sell prohibition. Damn parasite!

    1. John says:

      They could really try harder to solve the 600+ homicides in Colorado instead. Yeah, he’s concerned about his damn job and has no credibility.

  10. Brian Kelly says:

    Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, – Your Days In Office Are Numbered. Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

    1. Brian Kelly says:

      Fear of Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Marijuana Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of marijuana legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more detriment to our society than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more detriment to our society than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier lives, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

    2. Sherry Gillis says:

      The pot smokers on here don’t care what happens to the young people and chicldren of Colorado and never have. Just like other aqddicts, pot smokers care only for themselves, what they want and are completely selfish. Selfishness is the hallmark of addiction. They always say the same things, regardless of the harm to others and to children.

    3. Brian, I have seen so many lives destroyed by Marijuana. Literally hundreds of personal friends I know. Your love of pleasure has blinded you. I call you to no longer intoxicate yourself, and instead be filed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin. He saved me and my life has never been better. He took away the drug addictions and gave me a future and a hope.

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