Colorado Adult Marijuana Use Now Almost Double the National Average

Denver is home to the most number of marijuana stores – and leads the state with 18.5% of adults as current users

(DENVER, CO) – A new statewide study funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 13.6% of Colorado adults are regular users of marijuana – almost double the rate (7.4%) of the entire country, according to recent Health and Human Services studies. 1 in 5 marijuana users in the state also reported driving after using marijuana.


“This study shows once again that legalization promotes marijuana use and worsens its consequences,” stated SAM President Kevin Sabet. “According to state estimates of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adult use has risen in Colorado almost 20% since 2012 (10.4% v. 12.9%). If we are to use this new, Colorado state generated data, adult use has risen by even more than that.”


“Marijuana legalization and commercialization is a failed policy and this new report details the impact on many of our populations already impacted by alcohol and tobacco use,” said Bob Doyle, Chair of Colorado SAM and a public health professional with more than 20 years of experience in tobacco prevention.


Highlights of the survey included:

  • 1 in 3 users are daily users
  • Black adults in Colorado are using at almost 50% higher than the state average for adults; Hispanics have the lowest use rates
  • Low income Colorado adults are using at higher rates than the state average
  • Almost a third of 18-24 year olds are using marijuana
  • Almost a third of gay and lesbian adults are using marijuana – more than twice the state average for adults
  • Almost 1 in five reported driving after using marijuana

“The marijuana industry is getting rich while our communities, healthcare system, employers, and families pay the costs,” Doyle added.