This Is A First Of Its Kind Study And It Shows That Marijuana Cannot Cause Driving Impairment
If you consume it moderately, cannabis does not cause significant problems with driving. Because the prohibition of cannabis laws change on a daily basis, people can do more research regarding this psychoactive substance which has been part of our lives for so long.
There was a study which analyzed the cannabis effects over the driving performance and it discovered that it actually did not cause impairment. However, it caused something which is close to the law legal limit of alcohol consumption.
The study was carried out by the researchers from the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy sponsored it.
When they were in the simulator, which was a 1996 Malibu sedan that was mounted in a 24-feet diameter dome, every driver was assessed on weaving in the lane, if the car left the lane as well as the weaving speed. Those who drank alcohol had impairment in every area, and those who only had cannabis had problem only with the weaving in the lane.
The drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) had increased weaving that is similar to those who have a .08 breath alcohol concentration, which is legal in most states. However the legal limit for THC in Colorado and Washington is 5 ug/L, which is the same as some states consider.
It was expected that there will be impairment in all areas if you mix cannabis and alcohol. However, if you consume cannabis in moderate amounts, there will be no significant driving changes.
The discoveries from the study show that alcohol is way more dangerous than cannabis, yet it is still legal. Cannabis is decriminalized in the country and law enforcement wants to get their regulations and rules for those who drive.
It was also shown in the study that you can check if someone was recently using marijuana by analyzing their oral fluids, but this cannot be considered as a reliable measure of impairment.
“People want to use a Breathalyzer that only works for alcohol. The reason is because alcohol is metabolized in the lungs, and this does not work for cannabis because of the chemical and metabolic properties of THC” says Andrew Spurgin, who is a postdoctoral research fellow with the UI College of Pharmacy.