Lead photo via Twitter user Brian Cooper
With some form of legal weed now available to more than half of all Americans, even the most staunchly-prohibitionist politicians are now conceding that nationwide cannabis reform is a question of ‘when,’ and not ‘if.’ And while states in the country’s Midwest and South are still desperately trying to convince local lawmakers to change with the times, states early to embrace America’s cannabis revolution are moving on to a new set of post-prohibition issues.
The Summit Daily reports that Department of Transportation officials in Colorado are still worried that cannabis consumers don’t take the dangers of driving stoned seriously, a significant problem when compounded with easy access and still-rudimentary roadside cannabis testing processes.
“There’s definitely more of a stigma against driving drunk than driving high, and that’s something we do need to change,” Colorado Department of Transportation spokesman Sam Cole told the Summit Daily.
In the CDOT’s latest survey on drugged driving published at the end of 2016, 55% of responding cannabis users said that they believe it is safe to drive under the influence, with 57% of those same respondents saying they have driven a car within two hours of getting stoned.
Even after a year of engagement in programs like discounted ride-share coupons around 4/20, advertisements warning DUIs for drugged driving, and a swath of contested studies that claim legalization has increased instances of marijuana-related car crash fatalities, CDOT still says that educating marijuana users about safe driving habits is a top priority.
“They really don’t understand the dangers of driving high,” spokesman Cole said. “Your reaction time is impaired, your perception of distance and speed is impaired, and that can lead to a crash.”
Helping to make Cole’s point, a recent nationwide survey from insurance company Liberty Mutual and the group