Is legal marijuana disproportionately affecting minority children in Colorado? The studies to date show nothing definitive, yet. But analysis by the Colorado Department of Public Safety found marijuana arrests of young people of color increased following legalization, while arrests of white youth decreased. From 2012 to 2014, 29 percent more Hispanic youth and 58 percent more black youth were arrested in Colorado for marijuana offenses, including possession, compared to 8 percent fewer white youth.
Reporting for The Colorado Trust, Anna Boiko-Weyrauch finds marijuana usage among the young does correlate to health problems, in addition to legal problems. A review of literature by researchers at CDPHE found a significant association between marijuana use in young adults and adolescents and health problems, such as mental illness, psychotic symptoms and future drug addiction; and social problems such as poor academic performance and dropping out of school.