New statewide ad campaign encourages cannabis safety         

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s recreational marijuana industry is bringing new opportunities and new concerns to residents across the state.

On Wednesday, the state’s Cannabis Control Division launched a new ad campaign reminding New Mexicans about the rules and regulations surrounding the drug.

“The Cannabis Control Division is committed to being a helpful ally in the New Mexico cannabis market. We recognize the need for education in this new cannabis industry,” said Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo. “This campaign opens the conversation for responsible storage and safe cannabis consumption.”

The new ad campaign includes TV commercials, radio spots, and billboards with the theme “Yes & Knows.” The ads cover a  variety of topics including safe consumption, where cannabis use is allowed, safe storage, keeping products away from children and pets, and how cannabis can affect individuals if driving.   

The executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s New Mexico office says she supports the increased messaging around drugged driving. 

“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can operate a vehicle while using it,” said Katrina Latka. “State DWI laws apply to impairment by any drug, not just alcohol.” 

It’s difficult to track if drugged driving is becoming more common in New Mexico. Unlike alcohol, there is no handy piece of technology – like a breathalyzer – that can reliably confirm if a driver is high on marijuana. 

“The technology isn’t there,” Latka said. “We’re running to catch up with that as a society. The best way we can measure that is through a roadside sobriety test, just measuring how it’s affecting them in that moment.”

An APD spokesperson said he is not aware of any significant increases in drugged driving cases since recreational marijuana sales began. He added the department is training more officers to investigate those kinds of cases. 

Regardless, Latka says it’s still important to encourage New Mexicans not to drive while under the influence of cannabis. 

“We know that even low doses of cannabis can affect the brain’s judgment and functioning. So please plan ahead before you get on the roadways,” she said.