BOSTON (CBS) – The state is asking drivers to be on high alert on Friday, as research shows the April 20 date brings an increase in the number of drivers under the influence of marijuana.

A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found a 12 percent increase in deadly crashes on April 20 after 4:20 p.m.

The number 420 has become associated with marijuana use. The reason why traces back to a California high school in the 1970s.

As the story goes, students would meet at 4:20 p.m. each day on campus to smoke marijuana. The group developed a relationship with the Grateful Dead, and the band helped the term become more widespread.

On Thursday, one day ahead of 4/20, State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett warned drivers not to get behind the wheel if they are under the influence.

“Driving while impaired is both dangerous and illegal,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Dan Bennett. “Driver responsibility plays a huge role in keeping our roads safe – whether we’re talking about marijuana or alcohol – and we want to remind drivers not to take the wheel if they are impaired in any way.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said marijuana can lead to slowed driver reaction time, impaired decision-making, reduced coordination and distorted perception.

“Drivers who are impaired are a danger to everyone on the road and to themselves,” said Gilpin. “Our Troopers will be stopping any motorists who are driving dangerously and putting others at risk.”

Comments (47)
  1. Tom Ronson says:

    Anyone found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or pot should be fined $1000.

    1. Lloyd Coskey says:

      Saturday nights–alcohol???

      1. Bill Loyal says:

        Watch out drug addicts, they are coming to get you. I cant wait to see you get yanked out of your car and your life ruined lol

      2. CL Wilkinson says:

        Being in any type of situation physically, mentally or emotionally while driving is dangerous. You are correct in the texting, but the other issues, alocohol, pot, and any other “altering” element which compromises one’s ability to think quickly and clearly while driving, should be of great concern as well, since it puts OTHER peoples’ lives and well-being at risk.

  2. burnet1187 says:

    Follow Australia’s lead. If you are stopped for driving under the influence, you lose your driver’s license for 6 months. 2nd offense you never drive again.

    1. Sure you drive again. Its called driving without a license. If don’t obey the first 2 why would you obey the 3rd? Punishment?

      1. Drive again and it’s jail time.

  3. Subtext of this article is that Boston drivers aren’t already being cautious when they hurl down the roads in 2 ton gasoline bombs. Noted.

    1. manniep says:

      I’ve driven in Boston. The only laws that apply, are those of physics. If you can drive in Boston, you can drive anywhere.

      And for Boston drivers that are offended, this is a compliment!

      1. Jack Pine says:

        Ever driven in Calcutta?

  4. Ryan O'Shea says:

    If it aint chronic dont blaze it up

  5. if there is some level of concern due to pot use for those operating motor vehicles, despite the revelation of a university conducted double-blind study that found no danger among those who used cannabis, should there be warnings against consuming food/coffee drinks or cell phone use as well? one would hope!

  6. Samuel Green says:

    I grew up in a small town 20 minutes from Boston, after my military career I moved to West Florida as I got a bit dented and dinged in service, I needed a warmer climate, sucks as I love winter and snow.

    I found it amusing that the state of Ma.issued this; “High Alert: State Warns Drivers To Use Caution On 4/20″

    After moving from Beantown to Florida, when driving on Florida’s roads & highways, I’m always on high alert.

    These crazy drivers often drive on the wrong side of the highway, and sometimes you see a car seemingly driving itself, some of these 4’6” grandma’s must use the force, as they cannot see above the instrument panel.

    Some of these Florida elderly drivers are far more dangerous than IEDs and the most extreme Jihadis combined.

    On a serious note, people that use medical or recreational cannabis should obey the same laws as if they were drinking, and if inebriated, call a cab. It’s that simple.

    After I retired, I volunteer driving cancer patients to their chemo, it’s nice to know that medical marijuana is available to them. Some of them truly benefit from it’s use and that’s a nice thing to see.

  7. John Jupiter says:

    anyone harming my family while High,, will be killed

    1. Mike Moors says:

      Okay, I won’t harm your family when they’re high because I don’t want you to kill me. Grammar and punctuation can make such a difference (sigh!).

  8. Andrew Moore says:

    No problem. I don’t head south to that failed state.

  9. Steve Thomas says:

    Marijuana has been and will always be a HALLUCINOGEN. Hallucinogens MAKE YOU DRIVE WORSE – it has lead to a pothead (blood level 3.2 ng/ml THC – 3 hr and 13 minutes after driving) who KILLED my sister. He served LESS THAN 3 years. A 49 yo with 42 court appearances. A THREE TIME felon. Get used to it America – THIS IS what is coming your way. NO ONE is stopping this insanity.

  10. Texters say, “Hold muh beer and watch this!”

  11. Pat Gwynn says:

    What a bunch of BS this article is! If leadership in Boston is really doing this, then they must be on pot themselves, promoting the commemoration of their high school fantasy!

  12. Chuck Yates says:

    Last thing we need is some dumb @#$ pothead driving on the streets.

  13. Apparently Bostonians cant handle their weed! Stoners don’t drive anyway on this day. They sit in parks and blaze!

  14. Potheads… dumb as rocks

  15. Joe Waldron says:

    I guess the state of Massachusetts knows the quality of its citizens better than I do. Did you reenact the government gun round-up yesterday, too? How did that work for you?

  16. Not any worse than everyday drunks driving. In any case, why would you need a state warning to “Be on high alert” whilst driving.

    One was to have learned that on the first day of drivers-ed: always be alert!

  17. The irony is: texting & driving is much, MUCH more dangerous (and far more prevalent) than marijuana use. Not even close!

  18. The State warns people to be on “high alert”. What?!? Are they actually promoting marijuana – telling people to get high and drive? That seems a bit irresponsible to me. ;)

  19. “increase of deadly wrecks” LOLOLOL

    1. stupid pigs always want to be involved with everything. FROCK OFF PIGS

  20. Mike Campo says:

    Unless of course, you’re an illegal alien in Massachusetts – in that case you’ll be apologized to, and released immediately so you can continue to vote for Democrats in the state.

  21. Joe Gibson says:

    Baloney…..420 has nothing to do with the Grateful Dead.

  22. It is nice to know the state of MA has concluded drivers should be alert while driving. VERY impressive!

  23. How about a link to this study stated in the 2nd paragraph of the article?

    A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found a 12 percent increase in deadly crashes on April 20 after 4:20 p.m.

    Seems a bit odd that the American Medical Association is doing fatality crash studies. Something that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) normally does.

    I’m not buying it until there is a link to the study!

  24. mike croft says:

    This sick and sad nation. People have to have a drug or drink to be happy.

  25. Fluo Ric says:

    LOL, be on alert for people driving half the speed limit, stopping at red lights and pulling in and out of fast food restaurants.

  26. Sadly I do not really care what the druggies of this State do or do not do. The ignorant people of the State voted to allow everyone to get medical cards so they could all smoke dope and stay high so why care about them. But I do wonder if there were very many voters who were legal voters on that vote. Since the leaders of this State want everyone to vote ,citizen or not , maybe there were so many illegals voting that it passed. Someone should have verified the voters. But thats their problem just keep the insanity out there where it belongs among the trash

  27. Noah Vaile says:

    Aren’t most Massachissetts drivers already impaired by their liberal thinking?

  28. This so called study was done by 2 (TWO) doctors in CANADA, who are also part of the lobby against the legalization of Marijuana in Canada .

    Think they might have an agenda.

    And I thi nk theyu are full of chit and so is their study. This 420 business is a joke , most pothead don’t even know about it to begin with.

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