CDOT sends a giant, high message with joint in downtown Denver

Officials hope to deter drivers from driving high

DENVER -- Welcome to Denver! Would you like a giant joint? You can find one hanging from a building in downtown Denver -- and it's there to send a message. 

The billboard, placed along the 16th St. Mall, is a part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) latest attempt to bring awareness about the dangers of driving while high.

The 28-foot billboard hangs from the Marriott Courtyard hotel building off Curtis Street and the 16th St. Mall. A 3D image of a crashed car hangs in the middle, shaped in the form of a marijuana joint.

At the bottom there’s a message that reads “Hits lead to hits, don’t drive high.”

“I think there’s a false sense of security among marijuana users that they can drive safely high,” said Sam Cole, CDOT communications manager.

A CDOT survey shows some 55 percent of marijuana users admitted to driving high. The Colorado State patrol reports that in 2016, nearly one-in-five DUIs in the state involves marijuana.

CDOT hopes the billboard will grab the attention of both locals and tourists alike.

“This is a great location,” said Cole, regarding the 16th St. Mall, “you've got six marijuana dispensaries within a mile of this location. Also, there a lot of hotels around here and at [the] height of the tourist season we know there are going to be a lot of tourists who may not be familiar with the dangers of driving high.”

The sign grabbed Reye’s Saucedo’s attention.

“I think it sends a more powerful message rather than just an actual TV ad or something like that,” he said.

The billboard will remain in downtown Denver through August.

The giant joint also glows in the dark. 

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