A study from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found more than 50% of medical marijuana users admitted to driving within 2 hours of using cannabis and feeling “high.”
Study authors surveyed 790 medical marijuana patients in Michigan who were using the products for chronic pain, and asked about their driving habits over the last 6 months.
More than half admitted to “feeling high” when behind the wheel, and 21.7% admitted to driving when they were “very high.”
Study author, Dr. Erin Bonar, a licensed psychiatrist and assistant professor, found the results “troubling,” advising against using marijuana when driving. She states, “Research studies show that things like your coordination and reaction time can be slowed by using marijuana, and those functions are important when you are driving.”
Consumerreports.org reports the following:
A recent study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which found motor vehicle crashes were up 6 percent in four states where recreational marijuana is legal—Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington—compared with four neighboring states where marijuana is restricted or illegal.
Most users of medical marijuana are not using cannabis to get high, as some lack the THC, tetrahydrocannibinol, psychoactive component. However, many preparations may and those using it for medial purposes may be unaware that they could still be committing a DUI.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.