Marijuana and Driving Not So Dangerous After All

As if the marijuana-law weren't controversial enough, it appears that discussions around this topic concern also the doped driving debate. According to Norml's “Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use”, yeah, we know it sounds like a highly unrealiable source, there is a “no driving clause” that clearly states “responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition”.

The obvious question would be: if alcohol increases the drivers accident risk, isn't it the same for marijuana? Surprisingly, unlike alcohol, scientific research shows that cannabis doesn't play a major role in car accidents and has no significant impact on the psychomotor skills required for driving.

What's more striking is that drivers under the influence of marijuana are fully aware of their condition, while drivers under the influence of alcohol seem to drive in a more risky manner.

Looks like scientific research has promising conclusions for marijuana consumers. It seems that drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to over-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving quality and compensate when they can, according to the US Department of Transportation Study. Apparently, these drivers pay more attention to accomplishing the task, increasing headway or slowing down.

On the other hand, drunk drivers are likely to under-estimate the effects of the alcohol and don't consider it necessary to invest some extra effort when driving.

Moreover, alcohol is legal in America and every state has its own laws to punish those who go behind the wheel while drunk. In case marijuana will be legalized some day, doped drivers might have the same fate as the drunk ones.

Well, it may be true that scientifically cannabis consumers appear as more appropriate candidates for driving than drunk persons but is it worth taking the risk?!


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