A recent poll conducted by Gallup shows that almost 70% of Americans believe that driving high on marijuana isn’t that dangerous. But is it really safe to drive high on marijuana?
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have confirmed that driving while stoned compromises the road safety of a driver and other road users. The chances of getting involved in a road accident tremendously increase after using marijuana. Furthermore, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that approximately 50% of young people over the age 16 drive under the influence of marijuana occasionally. Several studies have established a significant correlation between THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) concentration in the blood and poor judgment while driving.
Driving high on marijuana certainly impairs one’s concentration and hand-eye coordination. Current research also shows that marijuana slows a driver’s reaction time as well as their ability to make prudent decisions. Long term studies have demonstrated that marijuana and its extracts impair a driver’s ability to correctly perceive time and distance. This may result in drowsiness, poor speed control, distraction, and the inability to read and interpret road signs correctly. Therefore, it is an established fact that marijuana impairs a person’s driving skills hence increasing their chances of causing an accident.
While it’s somehow true that driving high on marijuana is less dangerous than drunk driving, the National Institute of Drug Abuse has found out that driving high on marijuana increases your chances of causing a car crash by up to 300%. It’s fallacious to believe that you can drive carefully when you are high on marijuana. Therefore, it is recommended that you don’t drive at all if you are high on marijuana and/or related products.
Even medical marijuana should be treated no differently from recreational marijuana. As long as a reliable measure hasn’t been established regarding the amount of THC which is “safe” in a person’s system, definitive legal limits, and their tolerance level, driving high should be considered a huge road safety risk. Until then, the bottom line is; Stay safe and avoid driving high on marijuana.