Volunteering for the Impairment Study with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department
On a hot summer Monday, the team at My 420 Tours got out of the office for a first-of-its-kind volunteer opportunity. We agreed to impair ourselves with cannabis and/or alcohol at the Adams County Sheriff’s Department Training Facility in Commerce City, Colorado. Then, we got behind the wheel to further knowledge of driving impairment.
Overall, it was a fun day had by all. Highlights included margaritas and tequila shots at the popup bar, mock roadside tests, a photo op with the crash test dummy, and doing high-speed donuts in the skid car.
The local news took an interest in this groundbreaking study as well. We were joined by reporters from Channel 7, Channel 9, and Channel 31, as well as the cannabis editor of Westword. Here’s how we look — somewhat impaired — on camera:
Volunteers drink, smoke pot, text & drive in front of sheriff’s deputies for study for Adams County Driver Impairment Awareness Day
Read Channel 7’s full news storyhere.
Adams County researching dangers of impaired, distracted driving
Read Channel 9’s full news story here.
Adams County tests dangers of impaired driving with alcohol, marijuana
Read Channel 31’s full news story here.
Drinking Beer, Toking Up and Driving With Adams County Deputies
Read the full Westword story here.
After we were all Lyfted home safely, we had some time to think back on the day’s events. Here are some thoughts from each of the My 420 Tours volunteers who attended:
“I was asking the officers what kind of cannabis education they get as part of their training. I found out they get no state or municipal funding specific to THC intoxication, detection, etc. This is outrageous in a legalized state like Colorado.”
“Today was a great example of the much-needed research and training for law enforcement that needs to go hand-in-hand with a local cannabis economy and retail sales.”
“It was a mind-bending experience to be smoking and drinking in front of police officers, then get behind the wheel with them in the car. They were all very friendly and professional.
I liked talking to the officers about what they look for when gauging THC intoxication. The big takeaway for me was the need to create safe spaces for people to consume — places that don’t involve driving personal vehicles to reach.”
“I learned how technical and research-based alcohol detection is. They’ve been studying and refining the roadside test for decades. Not true for legal weed or using smartphones while driving, which are both newer phenomenon.
The takeaway for me was that texting, drinking, and consuming weed are all serious impairments in their own way. My driving while distracted by texting was super dangerous. The officer said it was the scariest ride he’d been in all day.”
“I thought it was really beneficial. There was a lot that I learned. Most eye-opening to me is that you can get pulled over and arrested even if BAC levels are below the legal limit of .08.
It was super fun, and everyone at the Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office was great to spend the afternoon with. I’m glad there’s one county that is open to this new approach to learning and raising awareness.”
“I was super nervous showing up. It didn’t really strike me until I was on the way there what I had signed up to do. I didn’t know how comfortable I felt consuming in front of a bunch of law enforcement officers.
But hey, at the end of the day, I think we all left understanding each other a little better.”
“Adams County Sheriff’s Training Facility was fortunate enough to participate in an awareness study focusing on the effects of cannabis or alcohol impairment while driving. The main thing I really noticed was the lack of knowledge and data available on the influence of cannabis and how it affects driving.
The other thing I noticed is that the Sheriff’s Department and its deputies are more than willing to educate themselves on the subject; however, there is no set budget for these types of studies. My mind was blown that this subject hasn’t already been funded and studied after five years of legalization in Colorado. I hope this opens the door for more collaborations in the future.”