Does Marijuana Affect Safe Driving?

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age.”

Medical marijuana is used to treat pain, but it’s often used to control nausea, weight loss, glaucoma, and even PTSD. It’s also reported to help HIV patients, as well as patients with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Whether people use medical marijuana with a valid prescription or if they use it recreationally (and illegally) to “get high,” either way, it can affect their driving. It doesn’t matter if someone obtained marijuana from the black market or their medical marijuana card, the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, is the same on driving.

Marijuana Negatively Affects Driving Skills

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana negatively affects a number of the skills that are needed for safe driving. The CDC goes on to explain how THC affects the areas of the brain that control the body’s memory, judgment, balance, and coordination, which is why marijuana impacts driving.

How does marijuana affect driving?

  • It slows a driver’s reaction time.
  • It slows a driver’s ability to think fast and make decisions.
  • It can impair coordination and distort perception.
  • It can cause difficulty with problem-solving.
  • The risk of combining alcohol and marijuana is worse than it is when a driver has either by itself.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) agrees with the CDC’s findings on marijuana use and how it impacts safe driving. In fact, the NIDA says that marijuana significantly impairs judgment, coordination and reaction time.

Have you been injured in an accident that was caused by a driver who was under the influence of marijuana? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. To explore your options, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.

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