4/20 Safe Driving Pledge: MADD and Native Roots Unite Cannabis Industry and Traffic Safety

purple background yellow text boxes with black text that reads celebrate 4/20 by taking the high road don't drive high avoid a DUI

DENVER — Each year on April 20, cannabis enthusiasts across Colorado and the country come together to recognize this unofficial holiday. With 40 states legalizing recreational or medical cannabis, the date has grown in popularity, and with it, attention to the increase in impaired driving, DUI arrests and fatalities. A coalition of industry leaders, spearheaded by Native Roots along with the Marijuana Industry Group, kindColorado and Terrapin Care Station, is uniting with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to ask the public to take a 4/20 safe driving pledge before the annual holiday.

“We’re asking that everyone do their part to save lives on our roads. I know firsthand that driving under the influence can end in tragedy,” said Polli Small, victim/survivor and MADD volunteer. “Our son Ethan died an instant, violent death, and our lives changed forever—all because of one person’s choice to drive impaired. Please make the smart choice to plan ahead for a safe ride home each and every time.”


A January report from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice found that, of the 6,071 cases in 2019 with toxicology screens for marijuana, 52% tested positive for any cannabinoid, including Delta 9-THC (the primary psychoactive component of cannabis). Men in the 21-34 age range have the highest rates of DUI arrests. Further, a recent report from CDOT found that nearly 37% of 2021 fatalities were the result of an impaired driver, up 44% from 2019. Statistics show the majority of DUIs occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“As an industry, we have come so far to secure the right to legally consume cannabis,” said Liz Zukowski, Policy & Public Affairs Manager at Native Roots, a Colorado dispensary chain with 20 locations. “On average, we see a 48% increase in sales from our daily average during the days around 4/20, and we want to encourage everyone celebrating to have fun and be safe. Make a safe driving plan before you start your celebrations. Take the high road – don’t drive high.”

An annual survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control shows nearly 18% of Adult Marijuana Consumers drove within 2-3 hours of cannabis consumption in 2020. Cannabis impairs reaction time with effects lasting anywhere from two to 10 hours or longer. The only thing that can counteract the effects of cannabis is time.

“Even if you’ve only had one beer and half an edible, don’t drive. If you feel different, you drive different. Get a rideshare, call a friend, or use public transportation.  It’s not worth the risk,” said Glenn Davis, CDOT Manager of  Highway Safety. “If we work together, we can reverse these trends and save lives.”

Since cannabis was legalized in the state, law enforcement has significantly enhanced its ability to keep Coloradans safe:

A majority of Colorado state troopers have specialized training in drug detection, known as ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement).

On April 14, CDOT will graduate 18 new Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) who can assist law enforcement officers in evaluating an impaired driver. This will bring the total number of DREs on Colorado roads to 168.

Currently, the Colorado legislature is exploring new technologies to assess the impairment of motorists by substances other than alcohol during roadside testing. No testing device is currently allowed by Colorado statute or approved by law enforcement.

“Public safety is our top priority, and we’re proud to partner with MADD, Colorado health and safety agencies and cannabis industry partners in urging Colorado cannabis consumers not to drive impaired on 4/20 or any other day of the year,” said Tiffany Goldman, Board Chair of Marijuana Industry Group. “Have fun, be responsible and plan ahead — your safety and the safety of our communities depend on it.”

To view the FB Live video from the Roundtable, visit https://bit.ly/Madd-420-Pledge-FB-Live-video. For campaign assets, visit https://bit.ly/MADD-420-Roundtable-2022. For video soundbites, visit https://bit.ly/MADD-420-Video-Soundbites. For more information or to request interviews with campaign pledge partners, contact Shawna Seldon McGregor at 917-971-7852 or [email protected].

About Native Roots Cannabis Co.

Native Roots Cannabis Co. is one of Colorado’s most successful vertically integrated medical and adult-use cannabis operators. Native Roots has 20 dispensary locations across Colorado, serving thousands of adult consumers every day and the state’s largest number of registered patient members. With over a decade of experience in providing cannabis to patients and adult consumers, Native Roots has won national recognition for its sustainable business practices, retail design, high-quality products, and employment practices. Since 2010, Coloradans have turned to Native Roots as their trusted leader in cannabis for wellness and recreation. Native Roots offers a vast assortment of affordable products and a welcoming environment for cannabis beginners and experts alike. Rooted in the community, we are Colorado’s Happy Place. To learn more about the company, visit nativerootscannabis.com. Follow Native Roots on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About MADD

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

About Terrapin

Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2009 as Terrapin Care Station, Terrapin operates six dispensaries and four cultivation/processing facilities in Colorado. Terrapin is a provider of high-quality, affordable cannabis products in five states. The company operates a grower/processor medical marijuana facility in Clinton County, Pennsylvania; a medical/adult-use cultivation facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.; serves as a vertically-integrated medical cannabis provider in Missouri; and it plans to start dispensing medical cannabis in Hoboken, NJ this summer. With more than 500 employees, Terrapin is committed to equity and social justice. We plant local roots. For more information, visit Terrapin.co or TerrapinCareStation.com.

About MIG

MIG was founded in 2010 by cannabis business owners and supporters who wanted to help craft Colorado’s earliest medical marijuana regulatory framework. MIG is the oldest and largest trade association for licensed cannabis businesses. Comprised of approximately 400 business licenses, MIG has strong representation and connections across the state. MIG advocates on behalf of the rapidly evolving needs of the regulated marijuana industry in Colorado with a reputation for innovative policy-making and getting results for the state’s cannabis community.