Award Winning Public Health Research - Medical Marijuana and DUI

In case you haven't heard, Evolve won an Award of Merit in Marketing Insights the AMAOKC Marketini Awards for our public health research on driving under the influence of medical marijuana! This was one of our favorite campaigns to work on, and the insight we learned was fascinating.


When Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana (MMJ) in 2018, the state saw an increasing number of drivers get pulled over for driving under the influence of marijuana. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) commissioned VI Marketing and Branding to produce a campaign to curb this behavior. VI and OHSO brought in Evolve to gain insight into why MMJ users choose to drive under the influence.


The specific goals of the study included:

  • Understand the perceptions of medical marijuana among users in Oklahoma.
  • Determine MMJ usage behaviors and how usage fits into day-to-day life.
  • Understand how MMJ usage influences vehicle-driving behavior.


Using an Online Bulletin Board Focus Group, we created a vibrant three-day online community with MMJ users across the state. The study examined how people consume MMJ (including strands and delivery methods), frequency of use, views on driving after usage, and feedback on animatic video spots to educate and curb this behavior.


The study revealed that there were huge gaps in knowledge around medical marijuana. Essentially, there are no guidelines on what users should take, how they should take it, and what they should avoid doing after taking it. Users saw nothing wrong with driving under the influence because no one told them not to.


Our recommended marketing strategy consisted of three areas:

  1. Acknowledge the merits of MMJ as a substance that can effectively treat diseases and conditions.
  2. Challenge users to consider how MMJ interferes with reaction times, impacting how they drive.
  3. Inform: Give users specific guidelines, such as waiting at least 4 hours after using MMJ before getting behind the wheel.


We're incredibly proud of our team and the teams at OHSO and VI for the hard work everyone put into this study, whose results are saving the lives of Oklahomans.



Related Content:


Posted by Stewart

Stewart is passionate about all things research. Designing studies, analyzing data, and moderating interviews - Stew does it all. Outside of research, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and trying new recipes on the grill.

Topics: Research, What We Do, Random Awesomeness, #publichealth, About us