When you hear the statement “driving under the influence,” the first thing you likely think of is driving drunk – which is actually driving while intoxicated, however, it is still typically what comes to mind. To “drive under the influence” is to drive while under the influence of drugs, and did you know that this includes marijuana?
Despite the fact that marijuana is being legalized in many parts of the world, that still does not mean that you can drive while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana has an impact on your reactions and driving skills just like other drugs and/or alcohol would. However, despite knowing this many people still drive under the influence.
Here are a few ways marijuana can impact your driving:
- It significantly impairs your judgment.
- It impairs your motor coordination.
- It impairs your reaction time.
In addition to the impacts noted above, studies have also found that there is a direct relationship between the levels of blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability. And in fact, marijuana is the most common illicit drug found in the blood of drivers involved in a crash.
In fact, an alarming number of Ontarians have admitted to driving while under the influence of cannabis. The CAA recently released new research that shows that 1.9 million Ontario drivers have driven while under the influence of marijuana. And of those 1.9 million, 735,000 have done so in the last three months. The CAA also commissioned a poll – done in July – which revealed that 69 percent of men between ages 25 and 34 are more likely to drive under the influence of marijuana. Additionally, 39 percent of novice drivers also admitted to driving while high.
“The fact that those who drive under the influence of cannabis are most likely to be young, novice drivers, with less experience on the road, is something that we should all be concerned about,” CAA spokesperson Elliott Silverstein said in a release.
As the time nears that cannabis will become legal in Canada, it is important to understand that risks still come with it. It is also important to understand the legality of marijuana and what can still get you in trouble.
Just because something is legal does not make it safe – take alcohol for example. Driving while under the influence of any drugs and/or alcohol is never a good idea. You are not only putting yourself at danger but you are also putting others in danger.