Use of marijuana (grades 6-8)
Significance of this indicator:
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse marijuana use can lead to addiction, school failure and impaired driving. More specifically, short term use of marijuana can result in impaired short term memory, slow reaction time and impaired motor coordination, altered judgment and decision making, increased heart rate and altered mood. Long term effects can result in addiction, poor educational outcomes and job performance, diminished life satisfaction, respiratory problems, risk of psychosis in vulnerable individuals, and cognitive impairment persisting beyond the time of intoxication. Exposure during critical development periods can alter brain development.
How we are doing:
From 2011 to 2012, the proportion of students in Pueblo City Schools using marijuana at least once in the past 30 days has decreased by nearly three percentage points for middle school students, and has slightly increased for high school students. Based on figures from the current statewide data for all of Colorado (2011), use of marijuana is higher among Pueblo City Schools' middle and high school students than statewide figures. Pueblo City Schools' middle school students report marijuana use that is nearly a three times greater than state figures.
Please note that the data for Pueblo is now reported for all of Pueblo County, not just Pueblo City Schools. Pueblo's middle school numbers only include grades 7 and 8, whereas Colorado's middle school numbers include grade 6.
The 2013 high school numbers for Colorado as a whole and Pueblo County both decreased from the 2012 numbers, even though Pueblo is reported as a whole in 2013 and was reported as only Pueblo County schools in 2013.
Pueblo County's 2013 middle school percentages are higher than the percentages in 2012, but they also represent Pueblo County as a whole and only grades 7 and 8, whereas the numbers from prior years are just for Pueblo City Schools and included grades 6, 7 and 8. The percentage rate for marijuana use has declined over a percentage point for Colorado as a whole for middle school students.
What the data tell us:
Percent of students who report using marijuana at least one time in past 30 days.
Healthy Kids Colorado Survey: Colorado Department of Education and Pueblo City Schools.
Colorado administers the survey every two years in the fall; Colorado began collecting data from middle school students in 2011.