Cannabis And Its Impairment Effects On The Driver

Cannabis And Its Impairment Effects On The Driver

We live in a fairly controversial society. After all, alcohol and cigarettes are readily available on pretty much every corner and yet cannabis, or marijuana, is still deemed as something very dangerous, something unpredictable. It is even called the “gateway” drug.

Call it whatever you like, but it is far from being as dangerous and as detrimental as alcohol, though both substances do have a certain impact people’s ability to drive. While there are certain limitations on how much alcohol you are allowed to have in your system when operating a vehicle, there are practically no limitations on how much THC is fine and how much is not.

Well, recent scientific studies clearly demonstrated that both alcohol and cannabis have a very severe effect on how a driver perceives the road. And, while they are strong enough on their own, should you mix alcohol and marijuana, your road sense will be greatly affected and you will not be able to drive safely.

Furthermore, the very same studies also clearly indicated that cannabis, even if taken in small quantities, affects the perception of ‘novice’ smokers to a great extent, not more regular users, so presumably it is also a matter of tolerance.

However, one study showed that people with 13.1 nanograms per liter of THC in their system do have similar effects as 0.8% alcohol. Hence, the results of this study could be used as a means to adopt a mandatory limit on how much THC may be present in our system to drive safely.

The study was conducted within a simulated environment with 19 test subjects. They had to engage within the simulation so as to check how alcohol and marijuana and a combination of both would affect their judgment on the road. The 19th subject, though, was later excluded from the study, since he was a bad driver regardless of whether he was high, drunk, or sober.

While California does not have any specific numbers that would indicate how much cannabis is allowed in our bloodstream for legal purposes, it is apparent that new laws will be considered and adopted in the relatively near future.

It is obvious that cannabis affects driving skills and you really need to be careful and forget about driving while you are impaired. There are cases today when California law enforcement authorities are finding ways to prosecute drivers under the influence of cannabis.

Pavel Kleyner, ESQ
Kleyner Law Offices

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