Marijuana

Lyft, CDOT and Pot Industry Giving Ride Discounts to Decrease Stoned Driving

Lyft and CDOT have teamed up before for ride discounts.
Lyft and CDOT have teamed up before for ride discounts. Kate McKee Simmons
To help combat the risk of driving while under the influence of cannabis, three organizations have again partnered on a program offering ride-sharing discounts. Lyft, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Marijuana Industry Group have revved up their collaborative 320 Movement program, offering monthly ride discounts through April 2018.

The 320 Movement debuted in March, in hopes of educating users about the hazards of driving high before the annual festivities of 4/20. The program called for discounted rides, promoting it with seventeen green cars branded with the message "Plan a ride before you're high." There were seventeen cars in the fleet because 17 percent of Colorado State Patrol DUI arrests in 2016 involved cannabis, according to CDOT spokesman Sam Cole.

“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,” Cole says, citing a 2016 CDOT drivers' survey. Although both Governor John Hickenlooper and former state cannabis regulators have argued that cannabis-related driving incidents are hard to consider in context because of a lack of baseline data before legalization, a recent study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found a link between pot and car crashes.

After launching last spring, the 320 movement gave out 3,800 Lyft discount codes, and nearly 1,200 were redeemed, according to CDOT — but that was just the start. The partners are extending the program throughout the state.


“Helping reduce the number of Coloradans driving high is an important and long-term goal for Lyft," says Lyft Colorado general manager Gabe Cohen. "We are excited to accelerate our work with CDOT to help educate the community about the dangers of driving high, and we are absolutely committed to continue to provide a safe and affordable alternative through Lyft."

Upon signing up on the Lyft promo page, users will receive a 32 percent discount for their next ride — but that discount maxes out at $5. Still, the discount can be used once a month until April, so savings could reach $30. CDOT will also give educational kits to 125 dispensaries throughout the state to promote the campaign and inform customers about the discounted-ride codes. The kits include postcards and social-media assets with suggested captions and hashtags like “Puff, puff, pass the driving to Lyft” and “If you load it, CDOT will help you Lyft it."

"The reduction of impaired driving is a shared priority, and state government and Colorado's cannabis industry are united in their ongoing commitment to raising awareness of, and reducing the incidence of, any impairment while driving,” says MIG executive director Kristi Kelly.
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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