Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but it’s not for everyone. “Young people who may not understand why, may question, well if it becomes legal doesn’t that mean it’s okay to use,” said El Paso County Public Health, Youth Substance Use Prevention Planner, Taryn Bailey. She encourages parents and trusted adults to talk with young people about the facts about adult substances like alcohol, nicotine and now marijuana.
An important topic with marijuana is a potential risk to brain development. There are studies of young people showing marijuana effecting regions of the brain associated with emotion, learning and memory. “The science behind brain development is very complicated and the average person isn’t expected to know everything about that, but it can really be simply broken down to that an adolescent brain does not stop fully developing to close to age 25,” said Bailey.
Studies show the number of teens using marijuana in Colorado is about 20%. It is about the same as the rest of the nation, including states that have not legalized marijuana.