SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The cannabis technology platform Eaze today released the first study of its kind in California, “Perceptions on Impairment: Cannabis Consumers in Focus.” The report, which captures cannabis consumers’ transportation choices before and after consumption, shows significant gaps in consumer education about impairment. The research, done in partnership with Lyft, also reveals key opportunities to reduce impaired driving through transportation alternatives and targeted messaging.
The report draws insights from the user behavior of Californians 18+ who had consumed cannabis within 30 days prior to the survey. The report reveals:
● Consumer education is needed. While 81% of Californians know driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, 62% are unaware of the penalties cannabis DUIs bring and 46% do not know whether a legal limit exists for cannabis.
● Ideas about safety differ widely. There is little consumer consensus about how long to wait, or how much cannabis is “safe” to consume, before driving. Among adults who drive after consuming, 77% believe it does not affect their driving ability, and 16% believe cannabis improves their driving.
● Message and messenger matter. Consumers are less likely to drive if a child is in the car, and they trust friends and families to judge impairment. Public education and messaging that leverage this data may be particularly effective.
● Age and gender impact risk taking. Women and drivers 35 and older are more risk averse; 23% say they never drive within eight hours of cannabis consumption. Men and younger drivers are more likely to have driven within eight hours of consuming cannabis in the past week.
The report also emphasizes solutions, with data indicating that on-demand transportation and fast delivery can significantly deter the decision to drive. The vast majority of consumers report they would avoid driving impaired if low-or-no-cost rideshares (77%) or cannabis delivery (68%) were available.
“This is the first window into how California’s cannabis consumers make transportation choices,” said Jim Patterson, CEO of Eaze. “Educating our customers is a cornerstone of Eaze’s mission, and we’re glad to see the Governor’s Office taking important steps to learn more about cannabis impairment. We hope that the study provides consumers, policymakers and public safety officials insights that increase road safety.”
On Thursday, July 11, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation allowing the California Highway Patrol to study drivers under the influence of cannabis on CHP property, for the first time, for research purposes. Eaze’s study shows that state and local health agencies are the most trusted source of cannabis safety information.
“Lyft and other safety leaders are seeing clear indicators that rideshare is curbing impaired driving by enabling people to trust they have a safe ride home. Many communities have experienced a decline in impaired driving since Lyft arrived, and this research highlights the importance of having accessible and reliable transportation options. We look forward to continuing to work with government and law enforcement to ensure there’s no excuse for driving impaired and everybody is able to get where they need to quickly and safely,” said Ed Hutchinson, Lyft Policy Partnerships Manager for Roadway Safety.
Eaze is committed to helping reduce impaired driving through education and prevention measures. In conjunction with today’s release, Eaze will begin including safe driving messaging on every customer receipt, and will provide the report’s full data set to Governor Newsom’s Office and California Highway Patrol to support ongoing research into impaired driving reduction.
The full report can be found here.
Eaze and Eaze Wellness are cannabis marketplaces that connect adult consumers with licensed retailers and products. We are on a mission to enhance safe access to legal cannabis, educate people about cannabis as a tool for wellness, and drive smart cannabis policies. Learn more at www.eaze.com/about.