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Driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado

April 20 is unofficially a day on which fans of recreational marijuana celebrate and partake of the drug, which was legalized here in Colorado recently. Unfortunately, statistics show that some Colorado drivers are either unaware of or insufficiently concerned about the risks associated with driving under the influence of the drug.

More than one in four marijuana users acknowledged in surveys conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation that they drive while high practically every day. Almost 70 percent have driven high at least one time in the last year. Coupled with this is the concerning trend for some marijuana users to drive while under the influence of other substances as well. In fact, the Colorado State Patrol found in a recent study that seven in ten individuals who had been driving while intoxicated had consumed multiple drugs, ranging from alcohol and marijuana to opiates and other substances.

With the relatively recent legalization of recreational marijuana, education efforts about its dangers behind the wheel are struggling to play catch-up to the level of public awareness surrounding drinking and driving, or even texting and driving. Yet in all of these scenarios, the bottom line for victims injured by negligent drivers is the same. Victims have the right to seek compensation for their losses caused by a driver who made the reckless decision to drive in an unsafe manner.

While recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, driving under the influence is not. The risks to others on the road, and the consequences, are similar to those in drunk driving or distracted driving accidents. And victims have the same rights to hold those drivers accountable.

Source: Westword, "Cops, CDOT, Super Troopers and Everyone Else: Don't Drive High on 4/20," Thomas Mitchell, April 23, 2018

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