More recently published research again demonstrates that society needs a whole different approach to determining cannabis' possible culpability in causing adverse traffic events….
"For years, the accepted wisdom was that acute cannabis intoxication slowed reaction times and made drivers less safe. The new science, however, suggests that while cannabis does impair driving, but also that there are others factors to consider.
Instead of focusing on current intoxication, the researchers examined sober drivers who regularly consumed cannabis. In other words, they tested drivers who consume cannabis regularly but were not under the influence of THC at the time of the driving simulation. The goal was to find out if cannabis could blunt driving abilities long after it had ceased to produce intoxicating effects.
Using a driving simulator, the scientists found a direct association between poor driving skills and people who started consuming cannabis before the age of 16. Interestingly, the research discovered it to be a significant predictor of poor driving when compared to heavy consumers who began at a later age.
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The researchers found, contrary to expectations, medical cannabis patientshad improved driving abilities after taking their cannabis prescriptions.
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"The researchers may be on to something about drivers who began consuming cannabis early. It could be that cannabis affects the motor skill refinement in developing brains to the point that young consumers become permanently sub-par drivers. But that’s not what this study proved.
It proved there is a correlation between early cannabis consumption and poor performance on a driving simulator. It did not demonstrate causation. That’s an important distinction.
It’s possible that early cannabis consumption is responsible for poor driving skills later in life, but it’s just as possible that another variable exists. Perhaps the same impulsivity that leads 15-year-olds to experiment with an intoxicating substance also makes them rash drivers.
It’s also possible that 15-year-olds who turn to cannabis do so because they’re self-medicating a different kind of motor or focus problem but lack the resources to effectively identify it. That same problem, exacerbated and perhaps ill-treated for years, could account for sub-par automobile operation as well. It could also be that early cannabis consumers fare worse on driving simulators but perform well on the actual road.
Whatever the case, the new research is interesting. But it’s not enough to answer the question 'Does cannabis impair driving abilities in people who are not under its influence?' in the affirmative."
If the federal government wanted to be actually helpful, they would establish funding for comprehensive national research into fully understanding the relationship between cannabis consumption and traffic accidents – both so that safe cannabis users aren't punished unfairly and to determine an accurate, fair method for determining who is actually impaired in the event of an untoward event.
That would lead to better laws, better user education, etc.
Yeah, we dare to dream of rational action…
Still think you can drive better high? Not recommened. Cannabis may impair driving, but not in the way you might think. This is the latest research.