Medical Marijuana Linked to Deadly Motorcycle Accident

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

A deadly crash is linked to medical marijuana, according to the Pueblo Police Department.

The wreck occurred at the intersection of Mesa and Prairie Avenue Saturday evening. Police say, 44-year-old Abran Marquez turned in front of Steven Trujillo, 41.

According to court documents, Marquez told police he was a medical marijuana patient and admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the accident. He is suspected of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. He remains in jail with a $250,000 bond.

Meanwhile, the victim's family talked to KKTV about the circumstances surrounding the accident. They say, they support medical marijuana for people who need it to ease their physical pain.

However, Trujillo’s family says they would like to see stiffer regulation of medical marijuana, and be reassured patients are warned and instructed not to operate large machinery while using the drug. "A lot of people think that it's a perfectly safe thing, and that they're more in tune to what's going on and more aware of everything and more cautious, but that isn't the case," said Melissa Trujillo, Steven's sister.

Doctor Divakara Kedlaya, a pain management specialist at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, agrees. "They may feel that they have more concentration, more abilities, because of marijuana, but there is no scientific evidence to prove it," said Dr. Kedlaya.

According to Dr. Kedlaya, studies are being conducted in an attempt to determine to what extent medical marijuana impairs driving. He says, by it's nature marijuana slows reaction time. As a policy, his office does not prescribe medical marijuana.

As for Trujillo's family, it doesn't matter to them if the medical marijuana Marquez admitted to using was responsible for the accident or not. They've lost a father, a son, a brother, a nephew, and a friend; and the pain is deep. "He took somebody away from a large group of people, he had many many friends, and he had a very large family, and he just ripped him away from us," said Melissa Trujillo.

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  • by dan Location: colo spgs on Sep 16, 2010 at 09:37 AM
    Gail, i'll bet your the one that says it's ok to drive while you do your prescription drugs because they are legal. Yeah , medical marijuana is too.Now who is the immature , moronic idiot----you.
  • by Gail on Sep 16, 2010 at 05:40 AM
    RE: Pot driving: "A lot of people think that it's a perfectly safe thing" --- Yeah.. they are called IMMATURE, IDIOTIC MORONS.
  • by hmmmmm on Sep 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM
    it is such a rare occurrence for this too happen....that every anti pot nerd has to comment....shut up....thats like saying bicycles should be illegal because you might fall over and die.....better yet....marbles should be illegal.....200 kids die a year from chocking on them...morons
  • by perry parks, CSP on Sep 15, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    This is another case of mistaken "cause" of the crash. Motorcycles are are 10 times more likely to be killed riding one. This crash was caused by "the most common cause of motorcycle accident deaths"; drivers turning in front of the motorcycle. It is why most states REQUIRE they must ride with headlights on. Driving while impaired is wrong, regardless. Impairment, while not demonstrated to be statistically significant in accident avoidance after cannabis use, last for about 45 minutes after ingestion. Simulator test show "no difference in reaction time and accident avoidance between those using cannabis and those not using cannabis. Sorry, but this is one of the problems, especially with medical or frequent use..impairment is consistently..not found in designed tests.. There are some minor changes in motor skills but not enough to cause a "significant" difference.
  • by mr 420 Location: colorado on Sep 15, 2010 at 06:19 AM
    first of all i would like to offer my condolences to the family. i do agree that marijuana does impare your abillity to react. how ever people who do smoke marijuana and drive do tend to drive more cautiously because they are afraid of getting a dui. im more afride of people who take presribtion drug like oxicotin and morfine than i am of people who smoke marijuana and drvie not to mention the amount of achoholic who drive. i am a medical marijuana patient and i allow my self an hour between the time i smoke and the time i drive. as for the dr. i would like to help him with his study to prove that marijuana is no where nere as bad as some of the drugs persribed to people with severe far as the media being so willing to demonizing it they really need to learn more then all the bull about it facts not propaganda thank you
  • by Troy Location: COS on Sep 14, 2010 at 04:14 PM
    @Anonymous (9/14 - 3:23pm): Uh, read again. There was absolutely no contradiction there, at all, period. Alcohol and cell phones are legal. The abuse of alcohol and the abuse of a cell phone can be detrimental and dangerous -- which is why driving drunk and texting while driving are illegal -- as they should be. The substance and object remain legal -- as they should. I never even remotely implied that driving while high on marijuana should be legal. What I did say was that marijuana itself should be legal, just as cell phones and alcohol are legal. So no, there is no contradiction. You just read and interpreted improperly without regard to critical thinking. Most people are able to properly interpret what they read, which is why I didn't go into so much detail in my original post.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 14, 2010 at 02:23 PM
    To the family, my prayers are with you in this very hard time. @Troy- You contradict yourself. You state that MJ should be legalized then you state that "A drunk driver, a texting driver, and a person who has abused (not used -- different thing) prior to driving are all just as dangerous." Last time I checked drunk driving, texting, and abusing were all illegal. How come pot should be legal if what you compare it to is illegal?
  • by Marcus Location: RSBch on Sep 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    Sorry, Johnny Law is wrong. The majority of Americans don't use cannabis & I don't either. You don't know me. So, please, stop resorting to the tried and true old school prohibitionists ad hominem attacks. The majority of Americans are becoming fed up with the 'no end in sight' war on cannabis users that's been going on for 73 years. You support an open ended policy that calls for ever more power, taxpayer money, & smashing of civil rights called prohibition. Prohibitionists are the ones who are the addicts. Get over yourselves as the authority on cannabis use, we have. Drug use of any kind is a matter of personal responsibility. Do you like to have a cold beer after work? Thank all those Americans who rebelled against the Volstead Act & drank alcohol anyway. Maybe, you're one of the altruistic cops who say, "people are killed by drunk drivers. So, I'm not going to drink". But, many of your buddies probably don't see it that way & do have a cold beer once in awhile. Double standard.
  • by Rich 11b Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 14, 2010 at 09:38 AM
    No one should drive impaired, period! But they have yet to release any autopsy reports to see if the victim was impaired. And now there's one fatality possibly caused by cannabis. And the whole anti cannabis community come out saying see it happens with MMJ too. So what! We tolerate alcohol. I saw a truck pulling a sign around town the other day warning ppl not to drink and drive with the statistic "4591 DUI arrests this summer". Or what about the alcohol related fatality in Feb on circle and fountain. People lost someone that time too and I don't hear anyone demanding the removal of alcohol from society. Despite facts like this: Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 23,199 (source: can be such hypocrites, stop trying to keep something illegal and spend your energy on educating people on the truth. So they can make intelligent informed decisions.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 14, 2010 at 08:18 AM
    Lori, I hope you're being sarcastic; if not, you're an idiot.
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