New Research Says Cannabis Has No Significant Effect On Driving

HigherPerspectives

Alcohol is known to impair driving but somehow marijuana has been paired with it. Cops are looking for mainly those two intoxicants with their roadside stops. Researchers at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator published a study examining how marijuana effects driver’s ability to drive.

We know alcohol is an issue, but is cannabis an issue or is cannabis an issue when paired with alcohol? We tried to find out.” ~ Tim Brown, associate research scientist at NADS and co-author of the study.

Related:These Incredible Bees Have Been Trained To Make Honey From Cannabis

This study is the first of its kind, in its focus of marijuana and comparing it with alcohol. 18 participants were put through a 35-45 minute simulated driving test. The participants were split into three groups. One group consumed alcohol, the other breathed vaporized cannabis, and the third imbibed both. The study was sponsored by by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The study was very revealing. The group that was under the influence of cannabis showed little to no impairment when compared to the other groups. Driver’s that had blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, showed similar impairments to drivers with a .08 breath alcohol concentration. That is the legal limit for alcohol in most states but the current THC limit in Colorado and Washington is 5 ug/L.

Contrary to popular belief taking both intoxicants does not lead to twice the intoxication.Drivers who used both marijuana and alcohol served more than the other groups that used only one intoxicant. They also found that analyzing a driver’s oral fluids can detect recent use of cannabis but can not be considered a reliable measure of impairment.

Larger groups will need to be tested but it will be interesting to see how this information affects current laws.

Related:This 6 Year Old Girl Stopped 300 Seizures A Week Using Marijuana

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