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    Driving After Marijuana Use Twice As Common As Driving After Drinking
    By News Staff | May 12th 2014 06:31 PM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Many young people know not to drive while drunk but in the wave of health claims and legislative endorsements of marijuana, the message is being lost that you will still be impaired if you are high.

    Male college students who report using marijuana in the month before they were surveyed had a high prevalence of driving under its influence and of riding with a marijuana-using driver - more than double that of driving or riding after alcohol use, say researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences and University of Washington pediatrics department.

    Among other things, this study found that among marijuana-using students, 44 percent of males and 9 percent of females drove after using the drug, and 51 percent of males and 35 percent of females rode as a passenger with a marijuana-using driver.

    Lead author Jennifer Whitehill says their findings probably reflect the widespread myth that driving after marijuana use is safe. 



    This is Jennifer Whitehill. Credit: UMass Amherst


    The researchers suggest that developing strategies to combat this belief could help to change social norms and encourage using a designated driver not only after alcohol use, but after a driver has used any risky substance. Study findings are in the current issue of the JAMA Pediatrics.

    Whitehill says, "There seems to be a misconception that marijuana use is totally safe, but as an injury prevention researcher I dispute that. We've done a good job in public health with messages about the risks of driving after alcohol use. Clearly the idea not to drink and drive has come through for these students, because we found only 7 percent engage in that behavior. But our study suggests we must do better when it comes to marijuana, since we found that 31 percent of marijuana-using students drive under its influence."

     The health policy professor adds, "What I feel is, let's create a culture where we don't engage in any of these risk enhancing behaviors before we get behind the wheel."

    With the decriminalization of marijuana in 16 states and its availability increasing with medical use, concerns about drug-impaired drivers are more and more relevant, the authors point out. "The issue of marijuana-impaired driving is particularly salient for young drivers, for whom the combination of inexperience and substance use elevates crash risk. If they are part of a culture that accepts the behavior, their risks increase at a predictable rate that we understand better now," Whitehill says.

    The results describe the prevalence, sex differences and risk factors associated with underage college students' driving after marijuana use, after using alcohol and riding with a driver using either substance.

    Data for this report came from an ongoing longitudinal study. The researchers approached 640 incoming freshmen 18


    Comments

    Why does most everyone jump to the automatic, knee-jerk, and FALSE assumption that cannabis impairs drivers much the same as does alcohol? Why let uninformed opinions be the basis of new laws? It took me very little time to do a search, and find actual scientific studies which indicate just how incorrect such an assumption is. Examples follow.

    Studies Show Marijuana Consumption Not Associated With Dangerous Driving, May Lead to Safer Drivers
    Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Many people find that it makes them a safer, more focused driver; one that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident. To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results.
    http://thejointblog.com/studies-shows-marijuana-consumption-not-associat...

    Marijuana and Driving: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
    "Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. Below is a summary of some of the existing data."
    http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scie...

    The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers
    "There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes."
    REFERENCE: Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    Report No. DOT HS 808 065, K. Terhune. 1992.
    http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/26000/26600/26685/DOT_HS_808_065.pdf

    Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance
    “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution. .. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
    REFERENCE: University of Adelaide study, 1995
    www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/driving/s1p2.htm

    Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes
    "There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.”
    REFERENCE: Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies; Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232, A. Smiley. 1999.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10682259

    "Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a 'change' from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect 'impairment' in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk."
    REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division). 2000.
    /http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme3/cannabisanddrivingareviewoft4764?page=12

    Cannabis And Cannabinoids - Pharmacology, Toxicology And Therapy
    “At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven”.
    REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002.
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoi...

    Cannabis: Our position for a Canadian Public Policy
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. This in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002.
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/371/ille/rep/summary-e.htm

    “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.”
    REFERENCE: Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002
    Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, edited by Franjo Grotenhermen, MD and Ethan Russo, MD (Haworth Press 2002).
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoi...

    The Prevalence of Drug Use in Drivers, and Characteristics of the Drug-Positive Group
    "There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone."
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention 32(5): 613-622. Longo, MC; Hunter, CE; Lokan, RJ; White, JM; and White, MA. (2000a).
    http://www.grotenhermen.com/driving/longo1.pdf

    The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving
    “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

    Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths
    “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,”
    REFERENCE: Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-...

    Top 10 Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers
    “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.”
    http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-u...

    Risk of severe driver injury by driving with psychoactive substances
    "The study found that those with a blood alcohol level of 0.12% were over 30 times more likely to get into a serious accident than someone who’s consumed any amount of cannabis. .. The least risky drug seemed to be cannabis and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs."
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis & Prevention; Volume 59, October 2013, Pages 346–356
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457513002315

    Cannabis: Summary Report
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoi...

    Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk
    "There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks."
    REFERENCE: British Medical Journal, 1999; M. Bates and T. Blakely

    Marijuana-DUI Case Tossed by Arizona Supreme Court in Metabolite Ruling
    "Because the legislature intended to prevent impaired driving, we hold that the 'metabolite' reference in [the law] is limited to any of a proscribed substance's metabolites that are capable of causing impairment . . . Drivers cannot be convicted of the . . . offense based merely on the presence of a non-impairing metabolite that may reflect the prior usage of marijuana."
    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2014/04/marijuana-dui_case_...

    Hank
    It took me very little time to do a search, and find actual scientific studies which indicate just how incorrect such an assumption is. Examples follow.
    While it's clear that you did not actually do what you claim here, you obviously had this ready to be copied and pasted, what is really funny is that you don't include any actual scientific studies. Sorry, The Joint Blog is not a laboratory.
    Obviously, you are replying to someone else's comment, since mine does contain links to actual scientific studies, which should be blatantly obvious to anyone who examines it.

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    been in 1 accident in 20 years because i was SOBER and AGGRESSIVE...marijuana keeps me calm, slow, and cautious....eases my pain and add, keeps my anxiety down and me able to concentrate

    "any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions
    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
    Deaths by Guns: Millions
    Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
    Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever

    AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33