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Speed and Weed — How Does Colorado Feel About Driving While Stoned?

How often do cannabis customers consume and drive? Is driving while high really a usual practice thing these days?

Native Roots Cannabis Co. in Colorado wanted to know the answer in order to find the best way to reach its customers and make a positive impact. Finding a gap in existing data, they partnered with RBI Strategies to find out for themselves. After reviewing the results from 520 respondents, all 108 Native Roots budtenders are completing CDOT’s Cannabis-Impaired Driving Course. Read the full survey results in the Topline Report and Data Analysis Report, or view the standout findings below.

READ: Native Roots Guest Commentary — Inclusivity in the Cannabis Industry

  • 41% of respondents may drive while under the influence of cannabis, with 11% indicating they were “very likely,” 8% responding “probably”, and 22% indicating that they would drive while feeling the effects of cannabis depending on the amount consumed.
  • Some consume while driving, with 15% opting to consume cannabis in a vehicle or on a scooter or bicycle.

  • Some regularly travel with drivers who are under the influence of cannabis, with 12% indicating they rode with someone who had consumed cannabis once every day or two and 10% indicating once a week.

  • Knowledge of the law varies. When asked, “If you fail a sobriety test after being pulled over but are under the legal limit of alcohol or cannabis, you can get a DUI. True or false?”, 76% of daily cannabis consumers answered correctly, that number dropped to 62% with less than weekly consumers.

  • There is marked hesitancy of traveling with someone who has consumed cannabis. 71% of respondents indicated they “almost never” or “never” are a passenger where the driver has consumed cannabis.

  • Nearly all surveyed usually consume at home. Approximately 96% of respondents said they usually consume at home, with the next most popular answers being at a friend’s home (22%) or at an event (21%).

  • Regular cannabis consumers aren’t regular alcohol consumers. While 71% of respondents reported using cannabis products at least once a day, with one-third indicating they use cannabis products more than once a day, nearly two-thirds of the respondents indicated that they “almost never” or “never” consume alcohol and cannabis at the same time. Note: The latest data from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice shows the most common combination of substances involved in crashes are alcohol and Delta 9-THC at 43%.

  • A majority abstain from driving while feeling the effects of cannabis. The data found that 59% of respondents are “not very likely” to drive a vehicle after consuming. 

  • Less frequent cannabis users aren’t likely to drive while under the influence of cannabis. In respondents who consume once a week or less, only 2% indicated they were likely to drive a car or operate a motor vehicle while feeling the effects of cannabis. 

  • Rather than driving, respondents use multiple modes of transportation, with 56% indicating they will ride with a friend who has not consumed or a designated driver, 43% indicating they will use a ride share service such as Uber or Lyft, and 32% indicating they will walk. One-third (33%) indicated they would go nowhere or stay at a friend’s home after consuming cannabis.

Survey Research Methodology

RBI Strategies in association with Native Roots conducted an in-store survey of Native Roots customers. The survey was conducted February 7-23, 2023, at 10 Native Roots stores across the Front Range and two mountain community stores in Colorado. The total number of respondents for the survey were 520; respondents had to be a Colorado resident to qualify. An online questionnaire was distributed to respondents in-store via QR code. Interviews were staggered across three dayparts (morning, afternoon, and evening). Respondents were provided an incentive of one joint to participate. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.2 at the 95% confidence level.

Limitations and Considerations

The data sample includes respondents at 10 Native Roots locations in Colorado and should not be extrapolated to indicate overall statewide cannabis user behavior. The significant portion of the sample from the suburbs may under-represent younger cannabis users, with 49% of users in Urban areas ages 18-29 whereas only 39% of cannabis users in the Suburbs are 18-29. The sample population also skewed heavily toward Men under 40 (43% of the total sample). Data from CDOT indicates the highest prevalence of DUI incidents involves young men.


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 daily and the state’s largest number of registered patient members. With over a decade of experience 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. In 2022, Native Roots was named to the Civic 50, an initiative that recognizes and celebrates the 50 most community-minded companies in Colorado. To learn more about the company, visit Follow Native Roots on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.