Coloradans say they are doing less hard drinking than they did in the past few years but say they are more likely to smoke pot, according to a two-year federal assessment to be released today.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found Colorado was the only state to log a decrease in those who think they are at risk to binge- drink since the last study completed in 2006, from 29.8 percent in the previous study to 25.8 percent in the most recent.
Meanwhile, Colorado is one of seven states that notched "significant" increases in teens and adults who say they are more likely to smoke pot at least once a month than those who participated in the last government survey.
"We've been saying for some time that many adults want a safer alternative to drinking," said Mason Tvert, executive director of the Denver-based pot-legalization group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, which has passed two pro-pot public votes in the city since 2006.
The increase in stoners could logically be tied to the rocky economy, said Tvert, co-author of a book to be released in August that measures the economics of getting buzzed, "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Do We Drive People to Drink?"
"The price of pot is inflated because of criminalization," he said. "Still, people seeking to get intoxicated perceive they get a better deal sitting at home smoking a little pot than going out and spending $30 at a bar to get drunk."