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Residents of and visitors to Colorado have a lot of freedom for when they want to relax in the evening after work. You have the right to pour yourself a cold beer or to light up a joint and smoke a little cannabis. Some people enjoy both, which is not a concern in moderation and when people enjoy the substances separately.
However, combining alcohol and cannabis can be a dangerous decision for someone who intends to go out on the road again. Even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit and you believe that you are also under the legal limit of THC to drive, the combination of the two substances might impact your driving more than you expect.
Alcohol and THC are stronger together than on their own
Some substances interact strongly with one another. Alcohol and THC tend to amplify each other’s effect. Simply put, combining a small amount of cannabis with a small amount of alcohol will likely result in more impairments than a larger amount of either substance on its own.
Even those who have a higher tolerance for alcohol use or who have used high dosages of medical cannabis for years may experience impairment after combining the two. Researchers have warned that consuming alcohol before cannabis may increase how much THC someone absorbs, making the same amount of cannabis more dangerous if they intend to drive.
Regardless of the order of consumption, the combination of these two intoxicants is usually more powerful than either on their own. There may be more serious cognitive impairment that results, as well as a stronger risk for someone performing poorly at the wheel.
Impaired driving is illegal regardless of the legality of the substance
Some people think they can legally drive under the influence of cannabis because Colorado legalized it for adult use. However, alcohol has been legal for much longer and is it legal to use in large amounts before you drive.
Those who mix and match their chemical intoxicants might engage in worse driving behavior than those just enjoying one substance, increasing the likelihood of a traffic stop. They could face criminal charges for impaired driving that could cost them their license or even their freedom.