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.