According to Colorado’s Department of Revenue, Colorado, the first state with legal recreational marijuana, “has sold nearly $19 million in recreational weed in March, up from $14 million in February. The first three months of legal weed have netted about $7.3 million in taxes, not including medical marijuana sales taxes and licenses, which bring the number to $12.6 million.”
So while the numbers look good and Colorado is expected to make a lot of money from the sale of pot, what we do not know is the unintended or negative consequences of the state’s decision. One issue, which the state has started to address, is the effects of increased pot use for drivers. To combat this potential issue the state has started issuing public service announcements warning marijuana users about the dangers of stoned driving.
Drive high and get DUI in Colorado
Colorado’s Department of Transportation isn’t wasting time getting the message out about the dangers of driving under the influence of pot. In fact, they have started airing a television ad which will be shown in three parts and will warn against driving under the influence of marijuana. The ad, which is called “Drive High, Get a DUI,” will be targeted to men who are between 21-34 years of age, the demographic that tends to have the highest number of DUIs, according to a CDOT release.
The ad will show a variety of different scenes, with the first one showing a man installing a television on the wall, with comedic results. Then the ad will state, “Installing your TV while high is now legal. Driving to get a new one isn’t.”
According to the chief of the Colorado State Patrol, Col. Scott Hernandez, “As Coloradans now have more access to marijuana we want them to be aware that law enforcement is trained to identify impairment by all categories of drugs and alcohol.”
How do you know if you are under the influence of pot and whether you should not operate a motorized vehicle? The limit for marijuana in the blood is 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood, according to CDOT. But debate continues about whether this is an accurate mark and whether certain drivers will be impaired at this level.
There’s also another issue- pot seems to affect different people in different ways. For instance, some drivers might find one hit of pot eliminates their capacity to drive safely. The way the drug is consumed may also affect drivers. For instance, if the drug is eaten rather than smoked it could take several hours for individuals to feel the effects.
Colorado legalized pot on January 1, 2014
Colorado is just one of two states which now allows for the legal recreational use of marijuana. Washington will also begin selling the drug later this year, in addition to 20 other states which have legalized it for medical purposes.
Right now, however, the Colorado’s campaign will simply try to educate Colorado drivers about the effects of driving high.
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