Find out why driving on marijuana is dangerous and illegal.
People who use marijuana often believe that it’s perfectly safe to drive while high. The truth is, it’s no less dangerous than driving drunk. Because pot affects everyone differently, it’s impossible to gauge levels of impairment. Getting behind the wheel after using marijuana could easily result in the same kind of devastating impairment that drinking and driving causes. Consider this sobering fact: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drugs other than alcohol are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths.
Many people who use marijuana use alcohol at the same time. This increases the danger of driving and makes drivers more impaired. When you use drugs and drive, you’re not only putting yourself at risk. You’re endangering your passengers and others on the road.
Because marijuana use is harder to measure, users may not realize how impaired they are. It’s somewhat easier to gauge blood alcohol levels and impairment, because drinks come in standard sizes and research has been done on levels of impairment in relation to amounts of alcohol and body size. Marijuana is consumed different ways, people have different tolerance levels, and there are no standards when it comes to the potency and quality. Because of this, any instance of marijuana use could vary wildly when it comes to impairment.
If you use marijuana, even medicinally, it’s very important not to get behind the wheel. Don’t be fooled by feelings of calm or even focus. Your motor skills and judgment are as impaired as they would be if you were drunk. It’s never worth someone’s life to get behind the wheel when you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol.