Study Shows Smoking Weed Doesn't Affect Your Ability To Drive - MTL Blog

Study Shows Smoking Weed Doesn't Affect Your Ability To Drive

It's not at all like drinking and driving.

As we inch closer and closer to that special day of legalization in Canada, there are tons of debates happening about the terms of the legislation and how it will impact our cities and country as a whole. 

New stories came out this week about the actual date of the legalization of Marijuana in Canada, and that the government is on track for a late-summer date. 

I just gave you the news, they're still on track. That's done, now. 

READ ALSO: Everything You Need To Know About Canada's Weed Queen

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While looking around for new pot-related stories, I came across this new study - a first, ever, of its kind. 

Coming out of the University of Iowa, the first study of its kind analyzed the effects of marijuana on driving performance. They found that driving under the influence of weed causes almost no impairment. 

In fact, the only impairment they did find was similar to that of the legal alcohol limit for drivers.

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Researchers used the National Advanced Driving Simulator to carry out the study, which was sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Institute of Drug Abuse. 

As one would expect, impairment was found in all areas when weed was mixed with alcohol. Marijuana itself, however, showed no significant impairment to driving when taken in moderation. Some even argued that it made them drive safer and/or slower.

This proves what many of us knew to be true all along; alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than marijuana is, and ever was. Just adding more fuel to the first that cannabis should be legal. 

The closer we get to the legal weed date, the more our government evaluates the laws that will be in place. 

Reefer Madness mentalities should not be considered, these laws need to be based on science and fact...and the fact is, driving after having smoked a little spliff doesn't seem to affect the majority of people. 

Hell, seniors are more impaired when driving than that of a driver who just "smoked up." This should also speak to the imminent start of roadside tests for THC-blood levels. 

Via UIOWA

Here is how the study was conducted

Researchers selected 18 participants—13 men and five women—between the ages of 21 and 37 who reported drinking alcohol and using marijuana no more than three times a week. After spending the night at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics to ensure sobriety, participants arrived at NADS for six “dosing visits.”

First, participants were given 10 minutes to drink a mixed drink with alcohol or plain juice in an alcohol-rimmed glass and topped with alcohol to mimic alcohol taste and odor. The idea was to get the participant's blood alcohol level to about .065 percent at the start of the simulated drive.

Next, they were given 10 minutes to inhale a placebo or vaporized cannabis using a vaporizing system designed in Germany called “Volcano Medic ™.”

Once in the simulator—a 1996 Malibu sedan mounted in a 24-feet diameter dome—the drivers were assessed on weaving within the lane, how often the car left the lane and the speed of the weaving. Drivers with only alcohol in their systems showed impairment in all three areas while those strictly under the influence of vaporized cannabis only demonstrated problems weaving within the lane.

Drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, showed increased weaving that was similar to those with a .08 breath alcohol concentration, the legal limit in most states. 

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Riley James