Efforts to curtail marijuana-impaired driving collide with attitudes, medicinal use

Promoting cannabis as a safer alternative to alcohol was a tenet of the marijuana legalization movements in Colorado and other states.

Early data indicate that attitude continues when people get behind the wheel.

A recent Colorado Department of Transportation survey found that 72 percent of Colorado cannabis consumers thought it was safer to drive under the influence of marijuana than under the influence of alcohol.

That same survey also found that more than half of the 92 cannabis-using respondents drove within two hours of consuming marijuana. An equal percentage believed they could safely drive under the influence of marijuana.

Related: Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado. Is legalization to blame?

The Colorado Department of Transportation hopes a nearly $1 million education effort — a doubling of funding spent last year — can steer the driving behaviors of Colorado cannabis consumers in a different direction.

The state’s safety officials…

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