Crime

CDOT Hosting Public Meeting on Stoned Driving Tonight

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The Colorado Department of Transportation is making good on its promise to involve the public. As part of its new initiative, "The Cannabis Conversation," CDOT will host an open house in Denver on Wednesday, March 21, with cannabis industry, health care and law enforcement representatives discussing how to effectively curb stoned driving.

CDOT says it's pleased with its progress in educating the public about the laws regarding driving while high, but the agency is still frustrated that Coloradans don't view stoned driving with the same concern as driving under the influence of alcohol. There were 77 fatalities in Colorado that involved drivers with active THC in their blood in 2016, according to CDOT, while a 2017 survey showed that over half of the users reported consistently driving high in the past thirty days.

Motivated to try a new approach, CDOT launched a more interactive campaign in 2018, asking Coloradans to participate in anonymous online surveys and share their opinions related to stoned driving. The campaign's first public appearance was at the Winter on the Rocks concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on January 26, and CDOT hopes to send representatives into dispensary waiting rooms for more consumer surveys. According to CDOT spokesman Sam Cole, the information gathered during the surveys and meetings will shape future public-awareness campaigns and be used to create documentary-style public-service announcements.

The March 21 meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Montclair Recreation Center, 729 Ulster Way. It will include a brief presentation by CDOT; representatives from the Marijuana Industry Group, Lightshade dispensary group, Cannabis Business Alliance, Clinica Tepeyac community health center, the Colorado Department of Public Safety and various law enforcement officials will also be present for the discussion and to answer questions.

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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell