Updated on February 29, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies every 50 minutes due to an alcohol-impaired driver. This outrageous statistic is one many people feared would only get worse once cannabis consumption was legalized. However, recent studies showed no uptick in driving faults with cannabis users.
Now that two-thirds of Americans support cannabis legalization, understanding the effects of cannabis consumption has become more of a priority. A study published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine found that three hours after cannabis consumption, there was no significant increase in driving faults. This is an important finding since driving while under the influence of cannabis cannot be tested the same way alcohol is tested. There are still no breathalyzers for detecting marijuana available and blood tests are not accurate since marijuana metabolites can remain in the body for weeks after consumption.
The driving simulation study took 15 people habitual cannabis consumers and tested their driving capabilities, on designated routes with a medical professional, after the driver consumed no more than three joints. Each joint contained 300 mg THC/kg body weight. Considering this was a small study, there is still significant research that needs to be done but this could be integral to understanding cannabis consumption’s effect on traffic safety.