Does Cannabis use affect driving? – Is it Dangerous?
Let me begin by saying I have no interest in the legalisation/criminalisation debate. Whatever the legal basis, people will still use cannabis; there will always be pros and cons.
The question I have proposed for this article concerns safety on the roads and whether there is a potential risk to life and limb, be it our own or other people’s.
A study carried out by Dalhousie University in Canada, which was published in the British Medical Journal, reviewed nine studies of around 50,000 of people worldwide who had been in a fatal or serious accident and shows that those who use cannabis and drive within three hours are twice as likely to be involved in a very serious collision involving death or injury as those who have not.
Another study revolving around heavy cannabis use, done by University of Auckland in New Zealand, claims to have found evidence to show that heavy users are 10 times more likely to be injured or injure others. The team compared a control group of 588 randomly selected drivers and 571 drivers involved in hospital admissions or death. They looked at those who used cannabis in the long term and had used in the last three hours. The cannabis using group were found to be 9.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident.
Anecdotal evidence from many clients that I have worked with suggests that some cannabis users feel they are better drivers when they have used. Often they claim they have deliberately driven more carefully.
My personal experience was that in the beginning I did not use and drive but soon found myself ridding my motor bike and thinking “this is fun”. It wasn’t too many years before I drove a car straight into a van that I just did not see.
I now think that cannabis use and driving is a danger to other road users and the person concerned.
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