Driving High on Marijuana Not an Impairment, Study Says

Marijuana’s effects on driving, including separating data between men and women, is negligible. A similar study conducted in Israel showed similar results.

Of course, that may not be saying much given the state of some highways in this nation, but at least the road hogs and blind spot lurkers don’t drive any worse while high.

Most of the studies for stoned and drunk driving were conducted in the 1970s. Driving simulators, measurement tools, and even drug potency were different then. Although studies into drunk driving have continued to the present, studies of marijuana’s effects on driving have not.

A new study from researchers at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center has found that marijuana’s effects on driving – including separating data between men and women – is negligible.1

The research is legitimate, double-blind, placebo-controlled and used 85 subjects (50 men, 35 women) on driving simulators. Subjects were tested sober and then shortly after having smoked either a 2.9% THC marijuana joint or an identical placebo.

The only measurable difference in driving between those who were sober when stoned was that they tended to slow down and drive slower than otherwise. Which any safety advocate will tell you is almost always a good thing.

Other studies conducted overseas, including one in Israel published in 2008,2 showed similar results.

These studies and their findings should call into question every “impaired driving” law in which marijuana is treated the same as alcohol and hard drugs.

Of course, as marijuana becomes more and more socially acceptable and laws regarding its use loosen or are eliminated, a review of laws that lump it in with other, much more impairing drugs should be conducted as well.

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