Back by Popular Demand, Colorado Teams with Lyft Again to Reduce Stoned Driving

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From now through April, marijuana lovers in Colorado can enjoy ride-sharing discounts designed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Lyft, and the Marijuana Industry Group to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while high.

Before celebrations were underway on April 20 in Denver earlier this year, CDOT teamed up with ride-sharing app Lyft to remind consumers that driving stoned was not only illegal but life-threatening, too.

Discount Lyft rides were offered to cannabis consumers around the city on the highest of holidays on 4/20, with 2,800 people taking advantage of the discounted transportation. Because of the success of the campaign, Lyft and the CDOT have expanded the beneficial program and pulled in a third partner, the Marijuana Industry Group, to help support the effort.

Read: Did Lyft and Taco Bell Just Solve the Stoned Driving Dilemma?

The new campaign called the 320 Movement is designed to raise awareness in Colorado about the dangers of stoned driving and the importance of utilizing tools like ride-sharing apps to get you to your destination safely after consuming marijuana. The number 320 is intended to be a reference to planning ahead for your ride one hour before the Hallmark smoke session at 4:20 p.m.

Because the reduction of impaired driving is a common goal of the state and the cannabis industry, the partnership makes perfect sense. The revived 320 Movement campaign will run for six months, offering patrons 32 percent off their Lyft ride with a maximum savings of $5 per ride.

The CDOT will also provide 125 Colorado dispensaries in the area with literature and toolkits to educate consumers about the dangers of driving stoned and how to participate in the 320 Movement.

“Our ask is simple,” explained Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. “If you choose to legally consume cannabis, plan ahead and don’t get behind the wheel.”

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  1. The Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk report, produced by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that while drunken driving dramatically increased the risk of getting into an accident, there was no evidence that using marijuana heightened that risk. In fact, after adjusting for age, gender, race and alcohol use, the report found that stoned drivers were no more likely to crash than drivers who were not intoxicated at all.
    It’s worth taking a closer look at that 2015 NHTSA study, because federal officials put a lot of stock in it as “the first large-scale [case control crash risk] study in the United States to include drugs other than alcohol.” Data was collected from more than 3,000 crash-involved drivers and 6,000 control drivers (not involved in crashes) over a 20-month period in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The data was fresh and solid: Research teams responded to crashes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Drivers were considered THC-positive if they tested for active THC, not for non-impairing metabolites still in their blood days or weeks after consumption.
    While THC-positive drivers were 5% more likely to be involved in a crash, the researchers found that drivers who’d taken an opioid painkiller had a 14% greater risk of crashing. Here’s a chart from that NHTSA study comparing THC (marijuana) with opioids (narcotic analgesics) and other drugs:
    Those levels of increased risk were tiny, however, compared to the risk involved with alcohol. Drivers within the legal range of blood alcohol level as registered by a breathalyzer (BrAC) were found to be 20% to 222% more likely to be involved in a crash. At .08 BrAC, the legal limit, the risk increased to 293%. At 0.15 BrAC, drivers were more than 12 times (+1118%) more likely to be involved in a crash than a sober person. Here’s a chart from that same study, calculating the increased risk of crashing at rising blood alcohol levels:
    By comparison, a driver who has taken penicillin is 25% more likely to be involved in a crash. Drivers carrying two or more passengers are 120% more likely to crash. Drivers using mobile phones to talk or text are 310% more likely to crash.
    A separate NHSTA study (“Marijuana And Actual Driving Performance”) further conceded it’s “difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects … Drivers with high concentrations showed substantial [impairment], but also no impairment, or even some improvement.” In other words, cannabis affects different drivers in different ways, depending on a number of factors.

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