Since marijuana or pot smoking has been legalized in many states, a large number of drivers are driving intoxicated, leading to crashes. THC, which is the main ingredient in cannabis, has been found in twice as many injured drivers when it was first legalized. As many states are legalizing marijuana smoking, it is essential to understand the legalization impact and various health outcomes, including driving accidents, to understand the strategies for implementing legalization while minimizing the possible harms. Click here to learn more about car accidents caused due to the influence of marijuana smoking.
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Legalizing marijuana: What does it mean for drivers?
The expanded number of drivers using cannabis, especially motorists with high THC levels, is concerning. But it can not be concluded that all collisions were caused due to cannabis. Previous studies found no proof that low THC levels are linked with an increased chance of causing a crash. But new studies confirmed that an insignificant amount of cannabis use could cause psychomotor impairment and cognitive deficits, and there is proof that drivers with lower THC levels are at higher risk of crashing. Let us know what cannabis does to our bodies.
Slowed reaction times
Smoking marijuana led to a lack of concentration, slowed reaction time, and weaving down the road. However, the risk of crashing is more in drunk drivers than in those who use cannabis. Studies have confirmed that smoking pot can impair many skills needed for safe driving, including ration time, motor coordination, and judgment.
Research has to be carried out with caution as it is challenging to prove the causality of a car crash. It is because there is no such test to detect drugs in the human body, unlike alcohol. It means the tests used for detecting THC levels are generally conducted hours after the crash.
Delayed driving advised
The percentage of people driving both drunk and high was almost 2% before legalization and 3% after. The THC levels usually peak within 15mins of smoking pot. The levels decrease rapidly within 4 hours of smoking.
It is advised to people not to drive after smoking marijuana. It is also dangerous to combine alcohol with drugs leading to a fatal crash.
The best news is that you do not have to wait to file a claim caused by someone else influence of marijuana. It does not matter if anyone is charged with drugs or the charge is dismissed; driving under the influence of drugs is evidence.