According to a new report released by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), daily users of today’s high potency marijuana in the Centennial State believe that driving while high on the drug is safe and are skeptical of laws, policies, and data regarding stoned driving.
“Marijuana commercialization has pushed the normalization of the drug beyond simply making more people accepting of its use—-now, because of relentless propaganda by a greedy industry—people refuse to believe solid evidence that marijuana-impaired driving is dangerous,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “It’s beyond time for Colorado lawmakers to stop accepting political donations from the pot industry and start seriously reigning in this industry.”
Study participants stated they wanted “independent, empirical research” on marijuana-impaired driving, but were skeptical of such studies when presented with them. Participants told researchers that they did not believe the science because it “did not align with their personal experiences.”
Notably, 13.5% of drivers involved in a fatal car crash in Colorado in 2018 tested positive for marijuana impairment, according to CDOT. Other reports found that number to be higher—more than 18%. A 2017 analysis by the Denver Post found that the rate of marijuana-impaired drivers involved in fatal car crashes in Colorado more than doubled since the implementation of commercialization. A recent AAA study found the same to be the case in Washington State.
“It seems with each day, more evidence comes out that marijuana legalization is leading to greater harms,” continued Dr. Sabet. “As lawmakers in other states look to Colorado for lessons learned from legalization, reports like this must be at the top of the stack.”