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Do You Drive Better High? Colorado Doesn’t Think So

Colorado Department of Transportation
A screencap from one of the Colorado Department of Transportation's new marijuana impaired driving PSA's.

Public service announcements have a history that can run anywhere between bland to scare-tactics on steroids. Remember “this is your brain on drugs”?

Times have changed.

Colorado’s latest message thinks this is your TV installation on marijuana:


The ads are the handy work of the often creative Colorado Department of Transportation. Spokeswoman Amy Ford said the agency conducted research with focus groups. One key finding was that many marijuana users think pot smoking makes them better at driving.

“We had a much bigger issue to address, which are perceptions about what impairment really is,” said Ford.

In a playful way, the ads targeting men 21-34 show what you can and can’t do while high.

You’re not schooling the boys at the hoop:


And you’re apparently not a world-class grill master either:


Theran Snyder, owner of the retail dispensary Kine Mine in Idaho Springs, said he found the ads humorous.

“Just like any commercial these days it has to be entertaining,” he said.

But the driving-while-impaired issue is a critical one for the industry right now.

“It’s a new age,” Snyder said. “In our times, we’re happy to be a part of it. But we want to make sure it stays legal.”

So what does he say to customers? Snyder said he goes for the funny bone, too. But it’s a humor he wants to be sobering.

“[I say], don’t ruin it for the world, don’t mess this up,” he said. “They laugh as they’re going out. But it’s serious.”

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