CDOT working to find solutions to driving while high on drugs
February 13, 2018
The Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a new campaign to gather information regarding the use of marijuana behind the wheel.
The campaign, called The Cannabis Conversation, is asking Coloradans to share their opinions and habits related to marijuana and driving in an attempt to better understand public perception of high driving, and identify solutions to the issue.
CDOT will partner with 18 other organizations for the study including representation from the marijuana industry, community nonprofits, universities and others.
"As the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, everyone looks to Colorado for answers to drugged driving so we are trying something new and innovative," said Sam Cole, safety communications manager at CDOT, in a release. "The Cannabis Conversation is about hearing from many different voices on the topic of driving high and understanding how we can more effectively connect with people about the dangers of doing so."
Colorado saw 77 fatalities involving drivers with active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principle psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in their systems in 2016. More than half of cannabis users reported driving high in the last 30 days, according to CDOT.
The campaign is asking Colorado residents to complete an anonymous online survey about their opinions and behaviors regarding marijuana and driving.
Representatives of the campaign will also be gathering feedback in person this spring at public events and festivals throughout the state.
Both marijuana users and non-users are encouraged to participate. Interested parties can take the survey online at ColoradoCannabisConvo.com.
Colorado law specifies that any driver with five nanograms or more of Delta 9-THC in their blood can be charged with a DUI. Roadside devices for detection of marijuana cannot be used by law enforcement officials, though officials are able to base arrests on observed impairment. More than 60 individuals are arrested each day from DUIs resulting from drug or alcohol consumption, according to CDOT.
"Responsible consumption and reducing marijuana-impaired driving is a shared priority," said Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. "We're proud to play a part in this collaborative approach and look forward to learning from what Colorado has to say about the issue."