One concern among law enforcement when the topic of cannabis legalization comes up is the potential increase in stoned drivers. While those who smoke while driving don’t appear to have nearly the level of impairment that those driving drunk do (people seem to react entirely different behind the wheel when they are drunk compared to when they are stoned), it’s still advisable to either wait or find a ride when you’re getting high.
In hopes of bringing awareness to marijuana-related DUIs (even though the court system is still having a hard time prosecuting these cases), which now account for 17% of all DUIs in the state, the Colorado Department of Transportation partnered with the rideshare company Lyft to offer free – or at least very discounted – rides for the 4/20 holiday. They are calling it “320: A Movement to Plan a Ride Before You Get High” and they have been offering promo codes online prior to the unofficial holiday.
“Our goal for this partnership with Lyft is to encourage marijuana users to treat marijuana consumption just like drinking, and always plan to use a sober ride,” said Sam Cole, Safety Communications Manager at CDOT, in a press release about the collaboration.
Those who didn’t find out in time to get a promo code from the 320 Movement website still got a chance to snag one up while they were out and celebrating 4/20 in Denver. The CDOT and Lyft hid miniature “Mile 420” markers at different 4/20 events in the city and each one has a voucher code for a ride costing up to $42. If you didn’t travel very far for the day’s festivities, then chances are that would be plenty to cover the ride home and it will certainly keep a number of people from having to drive themselves.
“We know that Lyft passengers are great about planning ahead when it comes to alcohol consumption, with almost 90 percent of Lyft users recently surveyed saying that they use the service to avoid driving under the influence. Lyft is proud to join with CDOT in promoting this same, safety-first message when it comes to cannabis consumption.” – Gabe Gohen, Denver Lyft general manager
This year the only state with such a program running for the 4/20 holiday is Colorado – but if this proves successful, and also helps to spread the word about not driving stoned then maybe other states will join the trend. It’s fairly common to see companies offering free rides and free towing services and such on holidays where people are likely to drink (New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, etc) – and this is just another way people are finally trying to treat cannabis more like alcohol after all these years.