When people say legalizing marijuana is freedom, think of Jennifer and her family. Where’s her freedom? Where’s her mother’s freedom? Is she free to call her daughter on the phone? Is she free to see that daughter who would be 31 now? No, that freedom was taken away by a man who was stoned. He violently killed Jennifer and only got a slap on the wrist, spending less than 2 years in jail. Continue reading Jennifer’s Messengers sounds alarm, supports drugged driving victims→
Note: CBI data from Jul 2019 to Jun 2020 when all DUI blood samples were tested for both alcohol and a full drug panel.
DUI charges– percent caused by alcohol, THC and polydrug use – 3 year trend 
Traffic deaths per Billion Vehicle Miles Traveled (BVMT):
Increased from 9.91 in the five years before marijuana commercialization to 11.26 in the five years after marijuana commercialization.
Increase of 1.46 deaths/BVMT per year adjusted after marijuana commercialization, compared with a synthetic control.
Increase of 1.9 deaths/BVMT per year adjusted after marijuana commercialization, compared with states with stable legalization policies.
Increase of 1.7 deaths/BVMT per year non-adjusted after marijuana commercialization compared with states without legal recreational or medical marijuana.
Note: the above reports measured the effect of marijuana commercialization in 2014, not marijuana legalization in 2012.
Traffic fatalities implicating THC:
There were 632 traffic fatalities in 2018. 87% of the drivers in those fatal crashes were tested for drugs. 83 tested positive for THC including 36 at or above 5 ng/ml.
Vehicular homicide convictions by drug group in 2016:
Single other drug only
Alcohol + THC
Alcohol + other drug
Alcohol + THC + other drug
So what is Colorado doing about the problem?
Deny the problem exists
In 2020 the Department of Motor Vehicles revised the Driver Handbook to say, “…it is unclear whether cannabis use increases the risk of car crashes.”
Encourage marijuana use
During the COVID pandemic shutdown, marijuana dealers were classified as an “essential business” by the Governor, permitting them to sell their product while non-essential businesses were required to close.
At the December 14, 2020 meeting of the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee, the Colorado Department of Public Health an Environment announced that henceforth, “marijuana users” were to be referred to as “cannabis consumers” since the former label is pejorative. You just can’t make this stuff up.
 Santaella-Tenorio J, Wheeler-Martin K, DiMaggio CJ et al. Association of Recreational Cannabis Laws in Colorado and Washington State With Changes in Traffic Fatalities, 2005-2017. JAMA Intern Med. Published Online June 22 (2020)
 Aydelotte JD, Mardock AL, Mancheski CA et al. Fatal crashes in the 5 years after recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. Accident Analysis and Prevention 132 (2019) 105284
 Kamer RS, Warshafsky S, Kamaer GC. Change in Traffic Fatality Rates in the First 4 States to Legalize Recreational Marijuana. JAMA Intern Med. Published Online June 22 (2020)
 Gorman T. The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact. Vol 6 Sept 2019. Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
 Bui B, Reed J. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs. A Report Pursuant to HB 17-1315. July 2018. Colorado Division of Criminal Justice
December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.
* Reader discretion is advised, content describes details of violent crimes.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) helped wake up the country to the dangers of drunk driving. They succeeded in getting laws changed, nationwide in the United States. Now that four more states have legalized marijuana, what about stoned or high driving? Driving under the influence of a drug (DUID), is this something to be concerned about or, is it, as many stoners believe, people drive better while impaired?
Many recent crashes in Illinois suggest that pot users think it’s safe to drive after toking, or they simply don’t care. Prior to the decriminalization of marijuana, Illinois experienced less than 1000 vehicle deaths each year. In 2016, the year of marijuana decriminalization, traffic deaths rose to 1078. In 2017, 1091 people died from fatal crashes on Illinois roads, and 1038 died in 2018.
With decriminalization, Illinois raised the marijuana limit from zero THC to 5 ng of THC. When politicians talk of decriminalization or legalization, they signal to the public a belief that pot is harmless.