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Colorado, Pot Industry Meet To Combat Rise In High-Driver Deaths

Colorado is collaborating with the marijuana industry to combat cannabis-impaired driving. A decade after weed was first legalized in the state, fatal crashes involving the drug appear to be rising, Axios reports. As part of a "4/20" safe driving campaign, industry representatives met on Wednesday with state transportation officials to discuss how people can be prevented from driving while high. The state wants dispensaries to train employees on the signs of high customers — from glassy eyes and dilated pupils to short-term memory loss. Salespeople could ask how people are feeling, refusing to sell a product to customers, or offering to call them a ride home.


As "trusted advisers" to customers, it's "critical" that budtenders are trained to know what impairment looks like and equipped to have "uncomfortable conversations" that could save lives, said Truman Bradley of the Marijuana Industry Group. In 2021, Colorado recorded 79 deaths involving a driver who tested above the legal limit for THC. That's the most fatalities since at least 2016 and a 58% spike compared to 2020. A survey of more than 500 customers of Native Roots dispensaries found 41% of respondents may drive while under the influence of cannabis. To help keep people off the roads, Native Roots is offering free weed delivery in Denver through April 22, in honor of 4/20. Colorado lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prioritize $1.5 million in state funding for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving enforcement.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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