Despite political differences, Denver, Colorado Springs similar in cannabis habits

A new study from Consumer Research Around Cannabis shows how opinions around cannabis compare among adults in Denver and Colorado Springs.

While Colorado Springs identifies as more conservative — 39 percent, with 20 percent identifying as liberal and 41 percent as independent — people there have usage opinions very similar to the more liberal Denver, where 30 percent of residents identify as liberal, 31 percent conservative and 39 percent independent.

Overall, more adults 18 and older approve of legalized medical and recreational marijuana use in Denver than in Colorado Springs. About 58 percent of adults approve it in Denver, compared to 52 percent in Colorado Springs.

But, based on political affiliation, opinions are very similar:

  • About 75 percent of liberals in Denver approve of legalized marijuana and 72 percent of liberals in Colorado Springs approved.
  • About 37 percent of conservatives in Denver approved, compared to 34 percent of conservatives in Colorado Springs.
  • And 61 percent of independents in Denver approved, with 59 percent of independents in Colorado Springs approving.

Reasons for use also lined up. For both cities, one of the top reasons for using cannabis was to help with sleep — 23 percent in Denver compared to 17.5 percent in Colorado Springs, putting it at reason No. 2 and No. 1, respectively. Treating chronic pain was the biggest reason for Denver adults at 23.1 percent and No. 3 for Colorado Springs adults at 17 percent. (Treating temporary and minor pain was the second biggest reason of use for Colorado Springs with 17.2 percent of adults using it for that, while temporary pain was less of a priority for Denver.) Down the line of 16 reasons, numbers vary slightly but are mostly comparable.

Consumer Research Around Cannabis also provided a snapshot of cannabis use in the Denver Greater Metropolitan Area — the 17th largest media market in the U.S., which includes 48 counties in Colorado, 14 counties in Nebraska and 6 counties in Wyoming.

In that area, about 49.6 percent of adults have used cannabis in the last year, or 1.6 million adults. The average age is 42 and the largest age group by usage is 25- to 34-year-olds with 23.9 percent usage.

The average household income of those who have bought cannabis in the last year is just over $64,000.

And treating chronic pain and helping with sleep are tied in the Greater Denver Metro, with 47.2 percent of cannabis users citing both as the main reason they consume marijuana.

Just about half of adults in the greater Denver metro area have consumed cannabis in the last year, according to a study from Consumer Research Around Cannabis.