By Tori Mason
DENVER (CBS4) – In 2016, Colorado saw 77 deadly wrecks involving drivers with active THC in their blood. With that concern in the front of their mind, the Colorado Department of Transportation teamed up with partners in the marijuana industry to launch a new campaign to end drugged driving.
“The Cannabis Conversation” invites Coloradans to share their opinions, behaviors and habits regarding marijuana use and driving through an online survey.
“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,” said Sam Cole, Safety Communications Manager at CDOT. “We’ve been talking in this country for decades about drunk driving, but we aren’t having the same conversations about driving high.”
CDOT has made efforts to end marijuana-impaired driving in the past, but they don’t believe they’ve made a large enough impact.
“We put out ads talking about the dangers of driving high as well as the legal consequences of driving high, but it’s just not moving the needle fast enough,” said Cole.
Cole says all are invited and encouraged to participate in the survey, whether they use marijuana or not.
“We really want to have a wide ranging, public engagement campaign to get people giving us feedback about their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors when it comes to driving high. We really want a wide range of opinions from old, young, rural and urban to give us some feedback,” said Cole.
The online survey is anonymous and take less than 10 minutes to complete. Cole says CDOT hasn’t tried this approach before, but they are optimistic.
“Ultimately, we want to create a social and behavioral shift in the way people think about driving high,” said Cole. “What we learn from this campaign will help us move toward our goal of zero deaths on Colorado roads.”
“Responsible consumption and reducing marijuana-impaired driving is a shared priority,” said Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, in a shared statement. “We’re proud to play a part in this collaborative approach and look forward to learning from what Colorado has to say about this issue.”
For more information about The Cannabis Conversation and to participate in the survey, visit ColoradoCannabisConvo.com.