Science Shows Cannabis Users Are Safe Drivers

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Science Shows Cannabis Users Are Safe Drivers

The effects of cannabis on driving have been extensively studied for decades. Research consistently shows that typical cannabis use causes very little or no impairment to driving ability.
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In terms of public policy, the focus should remain on the real danger, which is alcohol. Cannabis only impairs driving in very high doses, much higher than those usually taken by the vast majority of users. When alcohol users switch to cannabis, our roads get safer.
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Here’s a summary from the past 25 years of studies showing that cannabis users are safe drivers.
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In 1992, the  U.S. Department of Transportation did a study analyzing blood from fatally injured drivers, to see how drugs and alcohol affected collisions. They concluded that “THC-only drivers had a responsibility rate below that of the drug-free drivers. While the difference was not statistically significant, there was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”
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A year later, they confirmed this result with another study on driving simulators, which found that “THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
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In 1995, the Australia Road Research Unit did a major study into cannabis’ effects on actual driving performance. They found that “THC’s effects on road-tracking after doses up to 300 µg/kg never exceeded alcohol’s at BACs of 0.08% and were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs.”
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The researchers also noted that “THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs, in that the users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence.”
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In 1997, a study into crash characteristics and injuries of victims was published in the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention and found that alcohol was more of a problem on the roads than all illegal drugs combined.
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“Alcohol is clearly the major drug associated with serious crashes and greater injury. Patients testing positive for illicit drugs (marijuana, opiates, and cocaine), in the absence of alcohol, were in crashes very similar to those of patients with neither alcohol nor drugs. These drugs were not associated with more severe crashes or greater injury.”

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