The legalization of recreational cannabis has raised concerns regarding road fatalities. The number of riders driving under the influence of marijuana has sky-rocketed ever the past few years, courtesy of various states legalizing marijuana one after the other.
Here are a few things that you should know about driving after marijuana use:
Limit to be considered impaired
Most of the states have kept the cap for driving under the influence of marijuana at 5 ng/ml. Reportedly, in many of the fatalities, the driver levels were as high as 30 ng/ml.
To be on the ‘safe’ side, do not drive less than 3 hours after moderate marijuana use. The excuse of having a valid medical cannabis card wouldn’t be entertained if you are involved in a crash.
The devices that check for marijuana impairment
As of now, the law-enforcement authorities do not have ‘small’ equipment – like an alcohol breathalyzer – that could be used to carry out a marijuana impairment test on the road. However, the technology is, of course, available and the work is underway to get the equipment of the desired size at the earliest.
Marijuana effects vs. alcohol effects
Not many differences there. The effects of DUI of marijuana are quite similar to driving while intoxicated with alcohol. The common ‘symptoms’ include impairments in attention, decision-making, perception, psychomotor performance, etc.
According to a study, adolescent-onset long-term use of marijuana (at least 4 days a week) leads to an 8-point decline in IQ on average. Furthermore, a study conducted on 6,000 Connecticut high-school students over a period of 12 years found that marijuana users reported 14-fold abuse of pain medications, and more than 4-fold of heroin use respectively in comparison to the non-marijuana users.
Imagine the set of aforementioned people driving – putting the lives of thousands in jeopardy.