With every other county, city, and state in the union changing marijuana laws every other day, and subjecting more than a hundred different populations to more than a hundred different cannabis regulatory systems, it’s always nice when a government decides to listen to its citizens for a minute about how they feel vis-a-vis weed laws.
In Colorado, the state government is trying to make certain that their laws regarding driving while under the influence of cannabis are appropriate and enforceable. The Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a project called The Cannabis Conversation. In the words of the project’s website, this “new drugged driving initiative” will be “a statewide, multi-year initiative that involves not just the public and marijuana consumers, but also industry influencers, law enforcement, local government, and other stakeholders to make sure we’re seeing all angles and perspectives of the issue” in order to “collectively identify practical solutions that will ultimately make Colorado’s roads safer.”
One of the first steps in this conversation is to issue a survey to the public, which gages not only how Coloradans combine cannabis use and vehicle operation, but how they feel about driving high, as well as how they feel about a whole lot of other related topics. As government-run cannabis surveys go, this is probably the one we’ve seen which most earnestly tries to listen to the public on important issues. It’s also pretty fun to take.
The survey asks expected questions such as how often you use cannabis, how often you drive, how often you use cannabis and drive, and how dangerous you think driving under the influence is. But it also asks you a whole host of other questions to try to get an idea of your whole belief system. It asks you stuff like: Does society still stigmatize marijuana use? Where do you like to smoke? What do you like to do while high? Do you like to drive while drinking while high? How dangerous is texting while driving? Or drinking while driving? Or speeding? Or driving without your seatbelt?
Hopefully then they can make some driving under the influence laws which make sense to 420-friendly Coloradans. Currently, a driver is considered impaired in the state when they have five nanograms or more of Delta 9-THC in their blood (that’s why you should always stop at four nanograms if you’re going to get behind the wheel). However, law enforcement does not use any breathalyzer-type device to test impairment, and use observation alone to make arrests, according to The Denver Post.
According to Colorado Department of Transportation data, in 2016 the state saw 77 traffic fatalities involving drivers with active THC in their blood.
Photo via Flickr user fo.ol