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Study Shows that Marijuana Nearly Doubles Risk of Collisions

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM
  • 152 Replies
2 moms liked this

Marijuana nearly doubles risk of collisions

CNN

We hear a lot about the hazards of drunk driving, but here's something else to put on your radar: A study in the British Medical Journal found that marijuana nearly doubles the risk of vehicle collisions.

Researchers conducted a systematic review of nine studies on the subject of marijuana and driving accidents, which incorporated almost 50,000 participants.

Alcohol impairs drivers' speed and reaction time, while cannabis affects spatial location, said Mark Asbridge, associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Among impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims, marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug that has been detected, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Drivers who have recently smoked marijuana may follow cars too closely, and swerve in and out of lanes, Asbridge said.

People who are impaired by alcohol often recognize that they're impaired by alcohol, but "people under the influence of cannabis often deny feeling impaired in any way," Asbridge noted.

It's not unusual for young people to go to a party and give the "designated driver" responsibility to the person who uses marijuana, Asbridge said.

"There clearly is a lot of misconception about the extent to which cannabis impairs performance," he said. "People just don't believe it."

As with alcohol, cannabis has different effects on different people. People metabolize cannabis in different ways. Some inhale more than others.

The effects of cannabis tend to wear off within three to four hours, whereas alcohol can mess your thinking up longer. Depending on how much you drank, you may not be able to drive for up to 12 hours after you finish drinking.

If the driver is 35 or younger, there's a higher likelihood of marijuana consumption leading to collisions, previous research has found.

There's not enough information known about the effects of marijuana doses on collisions - in other words, what level of cannabis in a person's system correlates most with crashes.

And Asbridge's conclusions are based on observational studies, meaning there were no controlled conditions imposed to look at the effects of marijuana.

One problem in some of the existing research is that there was no measurement of cannabis within two to three hours of driving. Inactive metabolites of THC, a chemical found in marijuana, can be present in urine for weeks or even a month after usage; marijuana usage so long ago would not affect driving performance or collisions. So Asbridge's group looked only at studies where there was a recent measurement. They also looked at studies that looked at both drivers who used marijuana and those who did not to compare the collision rate.

To deter marijuana usage just before driving, there is roadside testing for cannabis in Australia, western Europe and the United States, Wayne Hall of the University of Queensland in Australia said in an accompanying editorial.

Hall called for further research to evaluating the impact of roadside drug testing on preventing driver deaths connected to vehicle accidents and cannabis use.

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
pvtjokerus
by Ruby Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:02 AM
3 moms liked this

Another reason not to legalize the drug.

Ann7227
by Bronze Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Well Duh !!!! Drugs are bad.

candlegal
by Judy on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:10 AM

this reason has always been there, some just refuse to see it

Quoting pvtjokerus:

Another reason not to legalize the drug.


PestPatti
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:26 AM
5 moms liked this


  Hmmm I have driven high.   I guess you can find any type of study that goes along with your beliefts.  

krysstizzle
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:46 AM
4 moms liked this
Should alcohol be illegal, too, then?


Quoting pvtjokerus:

Another reason not to legalize the drug.


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Tanya93
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM
10 moms liked this

problem is, most people stoned don't go out and drive....

It makes them want cheetos dipped in spaghettios.

tansyflower
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM
1 mom liked this

or prescription medications?  my mom's fiance was taking 22 xanax a DAY and he was still able to legally drive....how else was he supposed to go pick up his prescriptions from the drug store?

Quoting krysstizzle:

Should alcohol be illegal, too, then?


Quoting pvtjokerus:

Another reason not to legalize the drug.



dustinsmom1
by JENN on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM

 I could see this, when I was younger and drove stoned I was always going fast then slow, had trouble regulating my speed and was often easily distracted. Marijuana is best used at home when you have no where to go.

PestPatti
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM


Quoting Tanya93:

problem is, most people stoned don't go out and drive....

It makes them want cheetos dipped in spaghettios.

 Hmm I know quite a few people who get high, we all drive.  But none of crave Cheetos dipped in spaghettios.  That's just stereotypical drivel. 

Tanya93
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Not with me and my friends.   No one wanted to drive.

Quoting PestPatti:


Quoting Tanya93:

problem is, most people stoned don't go out and drive....

It makes them want cheetos dipped in spaghettios.

 Hmm I know quite a few people who get high, we all drive.  But none of crave Cheetos dipped in spaghettios.  That's just stereotypical drivel. 


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