CDOT, Lyft, Pot Business Group Join Forces for Safety
Government and big business are working together to bury the stereotype of pot smokers as tie-dyed hippies who relish living outside the law. Institutions reviled as “The Establishment” a half-century ago are partnering with marijuana sellers to help you obey the law while high and prevent Colorado auto accidents resulting from impaired driving.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and ride-sharing giant Lyft are joining forces with the Marijuana Industry Group to offer discounted rides home to Colorado cannabis users who aren’t fit to get behind the wheels of their cars and trucks, Denver’s KMGH-TV, Channel 7 reported.
The collaborative program, called 320 Movement, will ride from November 2017, through April 2018, KMGH’s Amanda del Castillo reported. The campaign is building on the success of a briefer program launched by CDOT and Lyft in March, in connection with the 420 Celebration at Denver’s Civic Center Park. Lyft riders redeemed nearly 1,200 discount coupons during the event.
CDOT will deliver “toolkits” with promotional materials to 125 Colorado pot shops and ask workers to promote the Lyft discounts and safe driving to their customers.
You can download coupons, worth up to $5, at https://www.320movement.com/.
Safety, a Common Goal for Pot Industry, State, and Drivers
The sponsors want pot-smokers to plan ahead for a safe ride home before they indulge.
The ride-share program is the first of its kind and demonstrates the sponsors’ shared emphasis on reducing impaired driving in Colorado, said Kristi Kelly, Marijuana Industry Group executive director. If Coloradans choose to consume cannabis, then they should plan ahead and not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Ride-Sharing a Safe Alternative to Driving High
Lyft provides a safe and affordable alternative to driving under the influence, Lyft’s Colorado manager Gabe Cohen said in a CDOT announcement. The ride-sharing company has made it a long-term goal and high priority to reduce the number of Coloradans driving while under the influence of marijuana.
Legal to Use Pot, but Not Before or While Driving
Sam Cole, CDOT traffic safety spokesman, said:
“Despite the fact that marijuana impairs judgment, coordination, decision-making, and reaction time, an alarming number of users — 55 percent — still believe that it is safe to drive under the influence of marijuana. … We have partnered with Lyft and MIG in an effort to combat this belief while also providing marijuana users with a safe ride, so they don’t even have to consider driving high.”
About 17 percent of Colorado’s DUI arrests are for drivers under the influence of cannabis, the agency says.
Like alcohol, pot causes measurable physical effects that can impair your ability to drive and react quickly to road hazards, CDOT says. Users may think they’re better drivers while high, but aren’t. Using marijuana can reduce your reaction time, short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and perceptions of time and distance.
Driving while high, even with a marijuana prescription, can lead to DUI charges and associated fines and imprisonment. CDOT urges drivers to avoid having pot in the driving areas of their cars, to keep it in sealed containers, and to wait until they get home to use it.