If you're a cannabis connoisseur over the age of 21 and fortunate enough to live in Colorado, your next trip to the gas station could get conveniently interesting. With eleven compliant medical and recreational stores located throughout the Centennial state, Native Roots, a well recognized Colorado marijuana dispensary, recently expanded their brand name last month by way of facilitating it's twelfth and thirteenth store locations, to the surprise of skeptics, in the petroleum sector.
Considering the creative ingenuity already apparent among aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs and still developing business models, such as Trees, a marijuana delivery
startup app which recently proposed to deliver marijuana to it's patients via drone, it should come as no surprise that Native Roots' convenient combination of gas station and marijuana dispensary would be anything short of ground breaking.
Marijuana Dispensary Infused With Petroleum
Bringing added value to the term "convenience", "gas and grass" stations provide medical marijuana patients, who are also financially responsible, with the convenient option of earning a free tank of gas and savings, as incentives, for endorsing Native Roots as their marijuana dispensary. Similar to a rewards program that shoppers sign up for at a typical grocery store or mini mart, when patients pull up to "puff pumps" after purchasing a marijuana related product with a discount card, they earn .15 cents off of each gallon of gas.
Not a bad idea for Coloradoans, considering that most of the 400+ medical marijuana dispensaries in state close at 7pm, and patients can appreciate the additional time that's saved from having to make one trip to the gas and grass station after a tireless workday, instead of two. For law enforcement on the other hand, the dangers of marijuana consumption while driving poses a legitimate threat to public safety, drawing new concerns to a demographic already predisposed to higher crash rates.
Not As Deadly As Alcohol
Although driving under the influence of marijuana or any mind altering drug for that matter, should be avoided at all costs both for legal and general safety reasons, when compared to alcohol, marijuana is 144 times less deadly, according to a recent comparative risk study
. Unlike alcohol for example, drivers that are high on marijuana are inclined to be consciously impaired, compensating for their impairment by driving slower, with more caution, allowing for extra space between cars, and avoiding riskier driving actions like speeding or passing other vehicles.
Despite fatal DUI reductions in the state since legalization was enacted in 2012, experts still emphasize the importance of educating the public about driving under the influence of any mind altering substance that can reduce "reaction times and awareness," as suggested by Jeff Michael of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"While the research is pretty clear that marijuana use is not remotely as problematic as alcohol, it can cause impairment for some people when used at certain levels," added Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project, when discussing the topic with Tech Times.
In case you're one of the few Coloradoans tempted to operate heavy machinery while being high, prior to being in the safety of your home, an obvious "no, no" as stated on nearly all dispensary packaging warning labels, you may want to keep in mind that marijuana can stay in the human body for days, weeks, or even months after consumption, so good luck passing an unexpected drug test in case you're pulled over. Even worse, getting caught while driving stoned is just as punishable as drunk driving, carrying jail time, hefty fines, and public service.
Law enforcement officers are still trained to process driving under the influence of marijuana cases in the same manner they would drunk driving incidents, even going as far as to use marijuana breathalyzers in instances that they see fit, so using the "marijuana is safer" argument while debating with a cop whether or not to let you go for smelling weed in your car, might not be your best option.
Even if the onset of marijuana legalization has led to fewer driving deaths than those associated with alcohol use, concluding that stoned driving is safer than drunk driving, couldn't be farther from the truth. At best, gas and grass stations give Coloradoans yet another "first" to add to their list of accomplishments in an industry that's been steadily driving itself to profitable destinations.