Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colorado's 'Don't Drive Stoned' Ads Poke Fun At Stoners For A Serious Reason

Weed is legal in Colorado; driving high isn't.

That tagline serves as the basis for a series of ads that hit televisions in Colorado on March 10 as part of a $1 million effort to curb stoned driving. The ads feature characters who, after presumably having smoked weed, become a bit ... forgetful.
One ad, for example, focuses on a young man attempting to light a grill. As his repeated attempts prove unsuccessful, the camera zooms out to reveal there's no propane tank. A blurb of text at the end reads, "Grilling high is now legal. Driving to get the propane you forgot isn't."
"People do not necessarily associate being high with two things: one, that they are impaired. And number two: that they can get a DUI as a result of that," a Colorado Department of Transportation spokesman told 9News, speaking of the ads' intent.
Colorado State Patrol only recently started keeping a count of the number of marijuana-impaired drivers it pulls over. In January 2014, the first month the data is available, the state patrol reports 61 drivers were found to have driven under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Per the Associated Press, 31 of those were impaired by marijuana.
Drivers in Colorado are legally considered impaired if they have more than 5 nanograms of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, in a milliliter of blood.
Because THC remains in the body for some time after impairment, however, critics say the 5 nanogram limit may lead to false convictions of drivers who aren't actually under the influence.