During the COVID-19 outbreak, the major concern for many was staying safe, staying healthy and protecting our loved ones. During the outbreak, we have gained experience and knowledge about how to best address the potential threat it posed to our health and safety. That experience and knowledge can be applied to any similar future threats. Yes, we learn from past experience and should apply those lessons.

The state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in late 2012. As a former Colorado resident, I evidenced the transformation of the state after legalization. In a word; tragic. Entertainment and recreational areas that were family friendly are now overrun by drug use, filth and disgusting behavior. It is no longer safe to frequent many venues for both adults and children. Very sad.

Now, data from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows that 69 percent of marijuana users in Colorado admit to driving under the influence of the drug. Almost one-third of users admitted to daily use. Data also shows that from 2002 to 2014, prior to legalization, traffic-related fatalities dropped 34 percent, despite an increase in the state’s population.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151 percent while, in comparison, all Colorado traffic deaths increased 35 percent. Yes, the marijuana-related death rate is over four times the overall death rate. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data confirms the problem, showing that the percentage of all traffic deaths that were marijuana-related has increased steadily from 14.76 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2017.

This data shows one of the lessons being learned in Colorado. We can learn from Colorado without repeating its mistake. In Arizona, we must keep our families, our children, drivers, bikers and pedestrians safe. Vote “no” to legalizing recreational marijuana in Arizona. No on 207.