Could DUI Class Have Saved Marijuana Activist?

by: Mike Miller

Driving under the influence is a violation that involves not only alcohol, but includes all drugs including marijuana and prescription medications. I say that because it is important to note that while the laws regarding marijuana possession and consumption have been relaxed, driving under the influence of marijuana is still highly illegal.

This blog is not so much about driving under the influence of marijuana, but to highlight a DUI fatality involving alcohol consumption and marijuana activism.

Jennifer Friede, a longtime resident of Denver, Colorado was killed by a suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 25. She also was a prominent marijuana activist.

The 34-year-old Friede was a passenger in a vehicle struck by a vehicle traveling south.

Denver police arrested the driver of the wrong-way car, Rebecca Maez, 27, on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide. Friede's boyfriend, Jeremy DePinto, was driving the car and also suffered injuries.

This is not Maez’ first run-in with law, nor her first DUI. In 2009, Edgewater police arrested Maez for DUI, speeding in a construction zone and driving while her license was under restraint.

Friede was a fundamental in getting the measure to legalize marijuana in Colorado. She was known as Jenny Kush, who advocated for the expansion of access to marijuana.

She and her group would rally at the capital every month that cannabis is safer than alcohol. It's ironic that it was an uninsured drunk driver that killed her.

I am not sure that a simple computerized DUI class is enough for Maez. She needs to spend some serious time behind bars. If, and when, she gets out, I hope she dedicates her life to sobriety and helping others stay away from alcohol.