Cannabis & Driving a Car

Recent news reports presented some conclusions that said driving while high on pot increases the chance of being in an accident by a factor of three.  None of the articles were real clear on the pool of data that reached this conclusion.  So, let’s examine some additional work in this area. is an auto insurance quote provider operating out of Manhattan, NY. In business since 2008, they offer free insurance quotes online to United States users. In addition this company releases reports and studies on the automobile and insurance industries.  We are looking at those reports.
The study on marijuana use and driving looks at statistics regarding accidents, traffic violations, and insurance prices. Its conclusion seeks to dispel the thought that “driving while stoned” is dangerous. The study points out that the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving. Referencing a study by the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), it notes that driving slower “is arguably a positive thing” and that driving under the influence of marijuana “might even make you a safer driver.” A similar study by the NHTSA shows that drivers with THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in their system have accident responsibility rates below that of drug free drivers. Do they mean THC metabolites, or fresh THC? There is a difference.

A recent study shows that use of medical marijuana has caused traffic related fatalities to drop by up to nine percent in states that have legalized its use. “Marijuana users often say that when they are high, they feel like they are driving 80 miles per hour but actually are only going 30 miles per hour,”  company CEO James Shaffer says. “When somebody is drunk driving, on the other hand, they often feel like they are driving 30 miles per hour but are actually driving 80 miles per hour. This is what makes alcohol dangerous behind the wheel, and marijuana safe.”

Okay, this is all well and good, but please don’t get high and drive. That gives our opponents fresh ammunition against us, and these people don’t like us much, anyway. Plus, no one other than a lawyer really enjoys going to court. Get high, enjoy yourself, drive later when not high. It’s better for everyone. And don’t drink and drive. That’s asking for it. There’s a cop out there who will be happy to give it to you.

Learn more at The San Francisco Chronicle.

[image: google images driving a car]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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