6/26/14 – CHEYENNE, WY. The piece below is from information provided by Arapahoe House, Colorado’s major detox center. And it tends to prove my position, and the position of many of Colorado’s neighbors to the north, not to visit Denver and environs to our south, because driving on Colorado highways, always a bit iffy, has now become more dangerous.
“It may be legal to buy and smoke marijuana in Colorado, but it’s still against the law to drive while high – and that’s a message an increasing number of people aren’t receiving.
“Colorado’s largest detox network said Wednesday [6/24/14] that the number of patients busted for DUI while high on pot has nearly doubled, from 8 percent last year to 15 percent this year.
“‘This percentage increase is significant because recreational marijuana legalization is in its infancy and there has clearly already been an impact on public safety,’ Art Schut, president and CEO of Arapahoe House, said in a statement. ‘Our hope is that this new data will create an awareness so that if Coloradans choose to use marijuana, they do not get behind the wheel.’
“Arapahoe House, which runs three detox centers in the state, compared data from January 1 – May 31, 2014 and the same period last year, when recreational marijuana sales were still illegal in the state.
“In six months this year, 1197 of the around 311 people brought to the network’s detox centers after being caught for driving under the influence were high on marijuana.
“In the same period last year, the number was 112 out of 1,324 brought in for DUI. Colorado’s law allowing for recreational sales of the drug in stores took effect January 1, after voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2012. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2001.
“Arapahoe House Communications Director Kate Osmundson told NBC News the network expects to see an increase in the number of drivers busted for DUI while high on pot now that the drug can be sold in stores. ‘When people are brought by police to a detox center after being caught driving under the influence, staffers monitor them until they are sober enough to get home safely, ususall by arranging a ride from family members,’ Osmundson said.
“The Network, which says it is Colorado’s largest provider of detox services, said its data shows the average person caught driving while high on marijuana is white, male, and 30 years old. Only one in five was female. Denver police did not respond to a request for comment.
“It is illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle with 5 nanograms of THC in their bloodstream, an amount the Colorado Department of Transportation says is comparable to the 0.08 blood alcohol level used in cases involving booze. In March, the State Department of Transportation launched a $1 million ad campaign to curb drugged driving.”
NOTE by myturntosoundoff.wordpress.com: This article raises several questions in my mind:
1) Arapahoe House is Colorado’s largest detox center. How many other detox centers are operating in that state, and will most of their work soon involve not just alcohol detox but mostly marijuana and other drug detox?
2) If as its proponents claim, marijuana is harmless, why then are so many users being arrested by the police and charged with drugged driving?
3) Stats used by Arapahoe House were compiled for only five months in 2014, so far. Wonder what these stats will look like after a full year?
4) The Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a $1 million dollar ad campaign to curb drugged driving. Do you think it would have done that if it did not understand that drugged driving is a serious problem, which could and probably will get more serious?
5) $1 million dollar ad campaign? Where is that money coming from? The Colorado taxpayers, of course. But, it will be drawn from the Department’s funds; funds which might have been used for repairs and maintenance of Colorado’s roads, tunnels, and bridges?
6) Why are so many people in the State of Colorado so hell-bent on using another mind-altering drug? Are their problems so serious that they cannot face them while being in a conscious state of mind?”