According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Colorado holds the top ranking for first time marijuana use among youth in the country. Other studies showing no increase are not representative of the whole state.(9) The top states for marijuana use in the US all have relaxed laws.

  • Youth marijuana addiction increased 25% in legal marijuana states.
  • Marijuana-related ER visits by Colorado teens on the rise since legalization.
  • Youth calls to poison control centers nearly doubled in Oregon after legalization.
  • AAA has reported that fatalities among people who have recently used marijuana have doubled since legalization in Washington State.13
  • Pot products are being marketed to children as candies, cookies, ice creams, sodas, and waxes.
  • Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past – with pot edibles, candies, cookies, ice creams, and vaping oils being up to 99% THC. Compare that to 5% Woodstock Weed.
  • 70% of CO dispensaries were found to be recommending THC products to pregnant mothers for nausea. (16)
  • More minority kids are being arrested in Colorado for pot since legalization, and car crashes related to marijuana, young adult use, and workplace positives are skyrocketing in legal states.
  • Past month marijuana use among 12 to 17-year-olds increased 4% in Colorado from 2016- 2017 to 2017- 2018. In non-legal states, past year and past month use rates are significantly lower than in the state of Colorado (NSDUH State Comparisons, 2019).
  • In 2017, 34% of high schoolers reported dabbing as the means of marijuana consumption. Dabbing marijuana delivers a far more potent high than smoked marijuana flower (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2019).
  • Marijuana, which can cause depression and suicidality, particularly in young users, was found in the toxicology screens of 200 suicide victims in the state in 2017, up from 83 in 2012 (Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, 2019).



  • We are moving way too fast to legalize in this country without considering the costs of such a policy. The only people who benefit from a rush to legalize are a small number of investors.
  • Colorado still faces considerable issues with education systems being drastically underfunded and states with legal marijuana markets face a combined budget deficit this year of $71 billion.
  • Legalization is about filling the pockets of big marijuana – today’s version of big tobacco. Big tobacco is already investing in the marijuana industry.
  • The marijuana industry is seeing increased investment from existing giants of addiction. Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, recently invested more than $2 billion into the industry and has secured a minority ownership into Juul – the vaping giant – in a move to cement future stakes in the industry.
  • Even as marijuana markets grow, research shows tax revenue quickly tapers off (Pew Trusts, 2019).
  • The new approach Montana PAC, a group of non-citizens spearheading the legalization effort, says the increased tax collections could help the state fund more construction projects, thus benefiting contractors. Several studies have linked workers marijuana use with: “increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers compensation claims and job turn over”. (NIDA Research Report Marijuana Abuse, July 2012).
  • Keeping marijuana illegal has not worked. The current policy wastes police officers’ time, clogs our courts, and costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Despite thousands of arrests, a dangerous illicit marijuana market persists, instead of providing a steady source of tax revenue that benefits all Montana citizens. (New York Times).
  • Getting worse, not better: illegal pot market booming in California despite legalization. Stepped up enforcement comes with a certain measure of irony, legalization was meant to reduce policing and incarceration for minor infractions. Instead, there are new calls for crack down illegal selling. (New York Times).
  • In Colorado, for every dollar of marijuana tax revenue collected $4.50 must be spent to mitigate costs (Study by Centennial Institute)
  • The marijuana industry is claiming that tax revenue from the legalization will be a windfall for state budgets, taxes on marijuana will not compensate for the deficits in state budgets. (SAM, Smart Approach to Marijuana, preventing another big tobacco).
  • Tax revenue from marijuana accounts for less than 1% of state revenues where the drug is “LEGAL”. (SAM, Smart Approach to Marijuana, preventing another big tobacco).
  • Taxes on marijuana will not compensate for the deficits in state budgets. (SAM, Smart Approach to Marijuana, preventing another big tobacco).


Out of state based dark money is providing funding to support the legalization of marijuana, in an effort to place pot shops on every corner, of every town, and city in Montana.

Using Marijuana may seem like an individual decision, but the impact of each person’s use has a ripple effect that moves throughout our communities and our state.

  • More stoned people do not help society. According to the National Institutes of Health1, Mayo Clinic2, the Cleveland Clinic3, and World Health Organization4, marijuana is addictive, and can produce withdrawal and dependence. Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past.
  • A leaked police report in Oregon revealed that at least 70% of marijuana sales in 2016 were on the black market and around three to five times the amount of marijuana consumed in Oregon leaves the state for illegal sales (Hughes, 2017; Associated Press, 2017, August 14; OSPDES, 2017).22
  •  In 2016 alone, Colorado law enforcement confiscated 7,116 pounds of marijuana, carried out 252 felony arrests, and made 346 highway interdictions of marijuana headed to 36 different U.S. states (RMHIDTA, 2017).21
  • In 2018, investigations into illicit marijuana operations in Colorado jumped to 257, up from 144 in 2017. 6.1 tons of bulk marijuana were seized in 2018 (Rocky Mountain HIDTA Colorado Task Forces, 2019).
  •  In early 2019, Colorado reported its largest drug bust yet, which yielded 80,000 illegal marijuana plants, and $2.1 million in cash. 42 search warrants were served (US News, 2019).
  • According to NBC News, the New York Times, and other media outlets, foreign cartels and criminal syndicates are using marijuana’s legal status in Colorado and California as a cover for massive illicit growing operations on federal lands and in housing developments. California Governor Gavin Newsome recently called in the state’s National Guard to help combat massive illegal farms in the state’s northern territories.


(1) See NIDA. (2018, June 25). Marijuana. Retrieved from on 2018, July 2. (2) See Irons, B. M.D., Mayo Clinic. (2015, Feb. 19). Speaking of Health. Retrieved from on 2018, July 2 and Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017, Oct. 24). Marijuana. Retrieved from supplements-marijuana/art-20364974 on 2018, July 2. (3) See Cleveland Clinic. (2014, July 29). Marijuana. Retrieved from on 2018, July 2. (4) See World Health Organization. (2016). The Health and Social Effects of Nonmedical Cannabis Use. Retrieved from eng.pdf;jsessionid=3EBC6F1B98621EB7690654FDFB631BEB?sequence=1 on 2018, July 2. (9) This is the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the only population wide, national drug survey for all Americans 12 and older. See Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2017). 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD. (16) See Smart Approaches to Marijuana. (2018 March). Lessons Learned from Marijuana Legalization in Four U.S. States and D.C. Retrieved from on 2018, July 2. (13) See Johnson, T. (2016, May 10). Fatal Road Crashes Involving Marijuana Double After State Legalizes Drug. Retrieved from drug/ on 2018, July 2. (22) See Hughes, T. (2017, July 31). Marijuana’s legalization fuels black market in other states. USA Today. Retrieved from on 2018, Feb. 3, Associated Press. (2017, August). (21) See Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (2017). The legalization of marijuana in Colorado: The impact. Retrieved from on 2018, Feb. 3.