By on February 10, 2015

Jeff Spicoli et al Tumble Out of Volkswagen Type II

Planning to light one up before visiting the local drive-thru taquería? The NHTSA says marijuana use might not increase the risk of an accident after all.

According to AutoGuide, the agency’s study on the matter — the “most precisely controlled” study of its kind to date — says that while marijuana users may end up in accidents more often, but that said increase is coincidental:

Analyses incorporating adjustments for age, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol concentration level did not show a significant increase in levels of crash risk associated with the presence of drugs. This finding indicates that these other variables (age, gender ethnicity and alcohol use) were highly correlated with drug use and account for much of the increased risk associated with the use of illegal drugs and with THC.

Despite the findings, NHTSA associate administrator for research and program development Jeff Michael cautions that marijuana users shouldn’t drive while impaired, especially as the drug does bring on impairment.

The study took place in Virginia Beach, Va. for 20 months with a sample of 9,000, two-thirds of whom had never been in an accident.

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101 Comments on “NHTSA: Marijuana Use Not Likely To Increase Accident Risk...”


  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    A little paranoia goes a long way. Most drivers should have more. And a little less panic when things start to go wrong.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    So, the Administration that is pro-marijuana paid for a study that says smoking weed won’t cause any more accidents. Hmmm, slight conflict of interest? We thought it was a good idea back in the day to put lead in gasoline, and see how that turned out.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      The Administration that is pro-marijuana? In what way does the current administration’s marijuana policy any different than the previous? Were that true, the DEA and/or FDA which answers to Obama could take pot off of the Schedule I list — and there’s ample and growing evidence it doesn’t belong on it. It clearly has medical uses and it is clearly safer than other legal substances such as alcohol. Which, by the way, causes a significant increase in accidents. The old saying is drunks blow through stop signs, potheads wait for them to turn green.

      Also, when you do a good study, you don’t know the results beforehand or you’re wasting your time. They undertook a study to determine whether or not pot causes more accidents, which is a question that needed answered in that there are an increasing number of states with legal pot.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Well you could imply that since they stated they would not enforce the law in states that have legalized it for recreational use that they are at least soft on it. At this rate with legal to the state gov’t sales taking place in CO and WA, soon to be in OR and AK and all the states where it is legal for medical use it won’t be much longer that they can keep it a schedule 1 drug. The report I saw showed that the rate of auto accidents has not gone up in WA since it was legalized.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          CO accident fatalities are down since legalization. Nothing anybody has said regarding the sky falling has come true.

          People like to assume lots of things. But we know the saying regarding “assume” right?

          As far are scheduling is concerned, there is no basis for its Sch 1 status.

        • 0 avatar
          greaseyknight

          When the states are actively passing laws that are in violation of current Federal law and nothing is done, thats what I call pro-weed.

          I’m not so much concerned about the good/bad arguments of weed in this context. I’m just questioning the validity of the study results and what the effects of the increased usage is going to be.

          @See 7 up, thats interesting, I wonder if that will hold true as the percentage of folks on weed goes up? We don’t know….

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            My statement came from recent trends in CO, but a study of states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes also showed a statistically relevant decrease in traffic fatalities versus states that continued complete prohibition. This study looked at data for over 10 years in various states (as CA legalized medical in ’96). Road and car improvements were taken into account and were largely consistent across all states regardless of marijuana laws.

            On a different subject, there are much better ways to prevent substance use/abuse than prohibition and these don’t carry the collateral damage that affects all aspects of society, user or non-user.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            This is certain, a damn huge number of people were ( and would be) when it was ( or continues to be) outlawed.

      • 0 avatar
        andrewallen

        Well, speaking empirically and from personal experience (I still own my kombi like the one illustrated above) I never pranged once under the influence of weed. Beer however…….

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Come skiing with me some time. Let’s go ski bumps (look that up on you tube if you don’t know that skiing bumps is). We can slip into the woods and get royally baked, or at least I will. Then we will go out and ski some more bumps. You can grade me on my performance.
      In the realm of sensory-neural-motor-coordination, driving a car is child’s play comparatively speaking.
      I largely gave up the stuff just about thirty years ago, and will say it is a good estimate that before that time, when I always lit one up for anything but the shortest drive anywhere, that I logged at least 200,000 behind the wheel under the influence of cannabis. No accident, no tickets. Of course the severe penalties back then no doubt fostered a cautious driving style.
      Based on my firsthand experiences, I’d say it is clearly a safe statement to say that if we could replace all the alcohol impaired drivers with cannabis “impaired” drivers, a good 10,000 less traffic fatalities would happen annually.
      Do I detect some disdain for the Obama administration?

  • avatar
    formula m

    The problem is after your not high anymore but haven’t reached your destination. You get tired and “burnt” and struggle to pay attention like you should. It’s not as dangerous as drinking but it’s not like there is no difference from being sober

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      So you are essentially saying that any activity that makes one tired should be cause for lose of license and maybe even inprisonment?

      Even if what you said was true for all people, would the same apply to something like hiking, running, skiing…

      I don’t condone driving while intoxicated on anything, but I don’t see the logic or any basis for your comment

    • 0 avatar
      lghthvyw8

      Sober, tired, road rage, cell phone users, and people who just don’t pay attention crash and kill people daily. How many times have you heard I didn’t see him? what is your point?

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    A red light? You said there was like a red light?! I didn’t see a red light.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    They should have asked Cheech and Chong for their opinion.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Get these damn hippies off the road ! .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Insurance companies are very concerned with this – those who use the Mary Jane tend to make other bad decisions as well, in life and financially. Life insurance companies in particular are still trying to get enough data to price it accurately within their life policies.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      Care to back up any of that with any sort of facts?
      There are loser marijuana users, but marijuana use doesn’t make you a loser nor does it lead to bad decisions in life or financially

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        If you read my whole comment, you’ll understand that “tend to” was used, and that I very clearly stated insurance companies are trying to get data and studies together to prove/disprove so they can price it accurately.

        You may be too high to think clearly?

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          “Tend to” implies majority, as in a majority of marijuana users will make poor decisions in all aspects of life because of said marijuana use.

          That isn’t backed by any sort of fact, and yet you made that statement and defend it?

          If you would have simply stated insurance companies are looking into this and left it at that, there would be no issue

      • 0 avatar

        Typical user in my area…has a real job, decent suburban income, is civically active, and involved in kid’s sports as a coach or other volunteer.

        In other words, no different from the non user.

        Also, weed has been in use for so long, that if it was like alcohol, we’d not need a detailed study to determine it was a problem.

        Alcohol is the big problem in Court, by a huge margin, followed only by the tragedy of the lost opiate addict, although both the drunky and the poppy lover tend to have multi layered problems.. Weed laws are used to harass “likely suspects”. I’m a country lawyer, so I see this all day. Colorado, Washington, and some of the more lenient “medical” states, like California and Montana have the right idea.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          There is a false equivalence in many (I would argue unknowledgeable) people’s minds between alcohol and cannabis. It is false.
          Hell if anything it is far more equivalent to smoking tobacco while driving. No one freaks about that.

    • 0 avatar
      lghthvyw8

      Life insurance companies are concerned with people driving stoned? Can you prove this? It is the first I have heard of it. Sober fat lazy people also make bad decisions in life and financially, so do alcoholics, and drug addicts. What is your point?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I didn’t say driving stoned. Can you prove I said that? How many examples do you want of -all- types of insurance companies being concerned with this?

        http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/healthcare/what-marijuana-use-can-do-to-your-life-insurance-premium.html Here’s a life example.

        http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2013/06/19/exploring-the-effects-of-marijuana-use-on-life-ins Here’s a life example.

        http://usa.marsh.com/NewsInsights/ThoughtLeadership/Articles/ID/42115/Marijuana-Legalization-Insurance-and-Risk-Management-Perspectives-for-Employers.aspx Here’s a general risk management example.

        “And according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use has the potential to cause or exacerbate problems in daily life, including increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/marijuana-health-insurance_n_5288484.html Here’s a health example.

        http://www.insuranceissues.org/PDFs/371W.pdf Here’s a P&C example.

        I expect you to read every single one of these before you come back to run your mouth some more. Can you prove you read them?

        • 0 avatar
          lghthvyw8

          Well Then what exactly are you talking about. I have read the articles, don’t need to prove a damn thing to a closed minded reefer madness nut as yourself. As far as the NHID, they are federally funded, and the phrase you quoted, pertains to reasons why people need to be drug tested on the job. In my experience of over 22 years of being a heavy equipment mechanic, every injury, absence, tardiness, accidents, workers comp claim, were by sober people, so that holds no ground. You and Nancy Grace would have great conversation, because neither of you know nothing of marijuana but what you have been told.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      My wife has been a nurse for ove 25 years. The number of doctors and other medical professionals who use marijuana on a regular basis is quite high. They recoginize it for its good properties such as a anti-stress remedy. Yes doctors make bad decisions at times but they all make many more excellent decisions.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Oh look! Another roundabout attempt to prove that marijuana is just a harmless recreational substance of choice!

    Look, if marijuana didn’t alter your perceptions, people wouldn’t smoke it. So if it alters your perceptions, why would it be safe to operate a vehicle while under its influence?

    If the potheads would be honest and admit that they just want to get high without getting arrested, I could respect that. Not agree with it, but respect it.

    Smoking marijuana carries with it all the same charming physical damage smoking tobacco does, with the added bonus that it destroys your brain.

    Smoking tobacco, at least, only damages your body.

    Besides, studies mean nothing because they can be made to say anything you want them to say.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      I agree!

      /downs glass of whiskey with a beer chaser and beats wife

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Billboard in Colorado – “HEY POTHEAD! Drive Faster, Try to Keep Up.”

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Indeed what vehicular behavior indicates a stoner driver? It is going the speed limit and staying precisely between the lane lines.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The stereotype is exactly that. Cheech/Chong, Spicoli, etc. Except there’s another strain that actually gives you uplifted energy. Sativa.

            That’s why pot is tested for and banned from professional sports and the Olympics. Otherwise, Sh!t, Smoke all you want.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            In the cases of many recreational drugs, they’re banned from serious athletic competition for the safety of the athlete. Some, like cocaine and caffeine, can cause heart problems. Others, like cannabis and opioids, slow reaction time.

            The Olympic testing threshold for marijuana metabolites was actually increased by a factor of 10 a few years ago, in acknowledgement of the fact that getting high does not affect athletic performance weeks later.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      And conservatives wonder why they are mocked for being anti-science and prone to conspiracy theories.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Mocked? By who?

        By people who think that mockery is a legitimate alternative to facts in a debate, and who equate not taking anthropogenic climate change at face value with an aversion to science?

        I honestly wouldn’t care if people smoked marijuana – IF my tax dollars weren’t being parceled out to the hardcore users in the form of welfare payments and medical coverage so they can continue to exist after toking themselves into unemployablity.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          I would love to hear about the mechanism by which marijuana destroys one’s brain, doctor OneAlpha.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @brenschluss – it does affect the teen aged brain but then again there is a lot of other things that do too.

            Perhaps Mr.OneAlpha is speaking from personal experience? LOL

            If one looks purely at the relative addictiveness of various substances (based on ease of addiction and difficulty to stop), marijuana rates quite low. A study done in early 90’s came out with the following:
            (100 being the most addictive)
            100 – nicotine
            93 – crystal meth
            81 – alcohol
            80 – heroin
            72 – cocaine
            68 – caffeine
            21 – marijuana
            20 – ecstacy
            18 – LSD

            In reality the substances most commonly accepted by society are more addictive than marijuana (nicotine, caffeine, alcohol).

            Nicotine and alcohol costs to society are well proven. Even caffeine is not without its issues.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Most people who use marijuana are quite high-functioning.

          People who “toke themselves into unemployability” would drink, snort, shoot or otherwise find a reason to be unemployable if Marijuana wasn’t a “thing”.

          And they’ll continue to do so as long as we treat addiction and mental health like a crime, instead of like a disease.

          Although, in fairness, in the United States, disease is often treated like a crime _anyway_, given how poor the supports are for sick people.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Off topic, but can’t resist. When I need medical attention, it always feels like I am dealing with the mafia, in particularly the insurance companies. Now that you mention it, there are ways dealing with the health care system resembles dealing with the criminal justice system.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          It been repeatedly proven that the “pot head” welfare abuser is a myth. And it’s been expensively proven by some states that want to legislate morality.

          As for brain damage, sorry, time to educate yourself.
          Is marijuana use without harm. No. Little is. Can and is it used responsibly. Yes.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          The state of TN started drug testing welfare applicants and found all of 37 users. It turns out that the people who qualify for welfare don’t have disposable income for drugs, and have a much lower rate of drug usage than the general population.

          And how do you feel about your tax dollars being parceled out for eradication and interdiction efforts that have failed for decades?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            When did this occur, on initial application or was it randomized after the application was accepted?

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            @28 – Testing was performed on a subset of applicants based on answers to a questionnaire. Here’s a link with more details:

            http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/02/10/3621267/tennessee-drug-tests-after-six-months/

            Multiple states that have instituted testing have found that a much smaller percentage of applicants test positive than the general population.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            People really love to fling drug testing at others, don’t they? Is it like a big passive aggressive “f*ck you” or what?

            Drug test people on welfare.
            Drug test members of Congress.
            Drug test office workers.

            That’ll teach em.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            Danio, I think it’s a means of shaming the poor, and it’s founded in the demonization of anyone seeking a helping hand from govt. Since it would be un-Christian to let people starve or freeze to death, it’s first necessary to dehumanize them in order to make it acceptable to ignore them.

            Corporations, however, despite being people too, are not stigmatized by seeking govt handouts.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I think it’s a means of shaming the poor”

            I wouldn’t stop there. Many poor advocate drug testing the rich.

            It would seem to me that it’s angst filled people of all stripes wanting to use the government as their personal army to shame anyone they don’t like.

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            Honestly Clutch, I don’t want my tax dollars given to ANYONE but the military. They, at least, have a legitimate function – protecting the country from hostile foreigners.

            To address your other point – what’s wrong with shaming the poor into fixing their lives?

            What’s wrong with “demonizing” the acceptance of welfare money?

            The reason we’ve got third- and fourth-generation welfare recipients is because there’s no shame attached to taking handouts from the government.

            Shame’s a powerful tool for good when applied to good ends. If people were ashamed of being poor, or of taking government cheese, they’d find a way to not have to.

            I don’t have any sympathy for people who can’t pay the rent, but somehow always have money for tattoos, lottery tickets and beer.

            They’re obviously capable of fixing their problems, but their priorities are warped and they have no motivation to move up the economic ladder.

            Because they’re NOT ASHAMED of being poor and taking handouts.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            OneAlpha-

            As a former member of the American miltary, I can say that there are few, if any, entities in this world that waste more cash than the American military.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @ClutchCarGo

            Thanks

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Most of these drug screens are low tech pee in a cup and dip a reagent strip in it to see what colour it turns.

            All sorts of things will give you a false positive:
            – Poppy seed muffins = narcotics
            – Decongestants = Extacy/Meth
            – OTC NSAIDS (i.e. Motrin) = marijuana

            I don’t know of any company or government wanting to pay for Mass spectrometry analysis across the board.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            OneAlpha, shaming people for things they have limited control over is not likely to help much. Single parents, laid-off workers, people with marginal smarts/skills may be where they are due to bad choices/luck, but not necessarily due to low moral character.

            Anyway, govt assistance is a subsidy, just like the subsidies given to corporations and homeowners (Yes, the mortgage interest and prop tax deductions are subsidies, and not available to renters). Why no shaming via drug tests for CEOs and homeowners? How about drug testing everyone in a sports organization in order to get govt funds for a new stadium?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Some people confuse whining and the desire to exact punishment with a political philosophy.

            This is the equivalent of lecturing the car for getting stuck in the ditch instead of calling a tow truck: You might feel morally superior but you still aren’t getting anywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ClutchCarGo – in Canada there were studies done in relation to substance abuse (illicit and/or legal and alcohol) among First Nations (Aboriginal/Native/Indian)and the rates of substance abuse were less than than of the general population. There are/were pockets of severe abuse and since skid row types tend to be the most visible we just assume that is the case across those populations.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Debate requires a certain amount of respect. Respect has to be earned, and there is no chance of earning it when your premise is based upon a political conspiracy.

          NHTSA is one of the world’s leaders in traffic safety. It’s foolish not to consider their findings, even though they run counter to other research that I have seen on the subject.

          If you had any credibility at all, then you would dump the rhetoric and focus on the inconsistencies between these findings and those of some of the earlier research. But that would require less shouting, and I’m sure that you’re not interested in anything that doesn’t involve freaking out about libuhrals.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Pch101 you are my favorite poster here. Your comments rate hight for substantial reasoning and knowledge. Thank you

        • 0 avatar
          andrewallen

          From personal experience a lot more instrumentation was installed at atomic power plants and bomb factories while the personnel were stoned than drunk (Thats because they could breathalyze you quickly for booze but needed a blood sample for weed in the old days)

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @OneAlpha – “Smoking tobacco, at least, only damages your body.”

      And when did you have your brain removed from your body? Smoking cigarettes affects one’s brain too.

      Any “drug” has effects on the body. Children due to rapid cell growth can be more prone to the effects of marijuana and tobacco. Adolescents go through a period of “Dendritic pruning” which makes them susceptible to all sorts of things.

      “Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by suboptimal decisions and actions that are associated with an increased incidence of unintentional injuries, violence, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.”

      Hmmmmmmm…………

      Marijuana so far does not appear to come with an increased cancer risk associated with tobacco.

      “Besides, studies mean nothing because they can be made to say anything you want them to say.”
      Tell that one to your Doctor next time you go in for a prostate exam ;)

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      “…marijuana carries with it all the same charming physical damage smoking tobacco does, with the added bonus that it destroys your brain. Smoking tobacco, at least, only damages your body.”

      OneAlpha / February 10th, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      your statements/conclusions are nonsense. when, and from where, did you obtain your medical education?

    • 0 avatar
      lghthvyw8

      It destroys your brain? Sorry but it is not 1937, Marijuana use does not damage the brain, it actually stimulates new cell growth, one of the reasons why it is very beneficial to those who have epilepsy. So quit spouting lies. I would like to see a link proving that it destroys the brain….good luck finding one. And please don’t give one that was funded by the federal government ten years ago. Do some research and educate yourself, you sound just like Nancy Grace. Just because it is going to be legal nationwide within the next five years does not mean you need to smoke it, it will still be a choice.

    • 0 avatar

      Tobacco is way more destructive than cannabis, on a variety of physical levels. The fact you don’t get ‘stoned’ is irrelevant.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      With all due respect, it looks to me that you are letting your ignorance and stereotyping show,

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Have you ever tried it?
      Personally I would say it alters my inward perceptions, not my outward ones.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “So if it alters your perceptions, why would it be safe to operate a vehicle while under its influence?”

      It can certainly slow your reaction/response time. But since driving in a legal manner on public roads is about as difficult as walking and chewing gum at the same time, traffic safety primarily comes down to paying attention and remaining calm, both of which a stoned driver tends to do very well.

      “Smoking marijuana carries with it all the same charming physical damage smoking tobacco does . . .”

      Sure, if someone smoked 30 enormous joints every day. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a joint the size of a cigarette.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Any irresponsible use of recreational substances, which BTW includes alcohol, is a harebrained and stupid proposition.

    Irresponsible use includes, but is not limited to:
    -usage in front of children
    -while operating tools
    -while operating machinery
    -working with electricity
    -swimming or other water activities
    -and of course, driving.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      So everyone that has a beer or glass of wine at a family dinner or BBQ is irresponsible?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        A beer or glass of wine is responsible in the eyes of most people.

        It is a completely different can of worms as to what constitutes “responsible” marijuana use.

        What if Aunt Mary has cancer and has a medical prescription/licence for marijuana to treat nausea and a lack of appetite?

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        See7up
        This is a silly and trolling question.
        And it is typical argument bull. Taking such an all encompassing statement and suggesting it gives you support is done much to often.
        Sort of like all those If You Ever Sinned You Should Not Damn Others.
        Well, no…there are sins and there are sins. And I have sinned but I still know wrong when I see it. I might have stolen a superball as a kid…but I can today condemn bank robbers and rapist.
        And using drugs…all drugs…in an amount large enough to possibly cause damage, pain and suffering to others is wrong.
        It is an irresponsible act whether or not you get lucky and cause no harm.
        In fact all these positions in support of this survey is astounding.

        AND this entire study is suspect. Knowing today’s laws and testing restrictions, how in hell can they ever know if pot was used prior to an accident. And trusting folks to tell all in a survey is like trusting men to speak the truth about their sexual conquest.
        Bullshit.
        And I am calling it.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          A point of this study was to try to demonstrate whether or not pot consumed in any amount is actually directly responsible for the harm you’re saying it is.

          “Knowing today’s laws and testing restrictions, how in hell can they ever know if pot was used prior to an accident.”

          This sentence doesn’t make much sense but I’ll pretend it does: They did blood tests.

          “In this study, for marijuana, we tested only for THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana, and 11-OH-THC, its active metabolite.”

          They didn’t just use a clipboard.

          If you’re astounded, it says you have little to no knowledge of or experience with the subject. That’s fine, in a bubble, I don’t care if you don’t approve of something you don’t fully understand, but opinions borne of ignorance shouldn’t harm decent people as they do now.

          An impairment standard is needed badly. To beat the dead horse, impairment from some substances is not universal, and treating people who aren’t impaired as sociopathic criminals out to kill your children is more than disingenuous.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          My comment was in response to “schmitt trigger” who stated all recreational substance use in front of kids is irresponsible. I’m sorry, but that is a ludicrous statement.
          If my question was a bull argument, so be it. It was in response to a bull statement and was only made to show such.

          As for the study – you are committing conformational bias – as in you won’t believe anything that doesn’t fit your preconceived notions.
          Read the study, they openly state how marijuana use was detected.

          But does it matter? The plain fact is that marijuana prohibition doesn’t stop use. So if you think roads are unsafe due to marijuana, they always have been. Keeping marijuana illegal doesn’t make roads safer, and evidence shows the policy makes roads less safe. So nothing comes of prohibition, except for the large and expensive collateral damage of arresting and incarcerating large amounts of people, loss of job/scholarship/etc for using a substance in your own time that is safer than alcohol by all metrics

          If you want to argue for an impairment standard, I won’t get in your way. But it’s needed regardless of legality. And I’ll say we already have the field sobriety test, which is very good at detecting impairment regardless of the source.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      -usage in front of children

      They’ll get over it. You don’t become an alcoholic by watching your father have two beers once a week.

      -while operating tools

      Who doesn’t drink while putting an Ikea shelf together?

      -while operating machinery

      Fair

      -working with electricity

      Fair

      -swimming or other water activities

      Who doesn’t like a beer in the pool or lake? I though that’s why they came in metal cans.

      -and of course, driving.

      duh

    • 0 avatar
      lghthvyw8

      Your comment makes no sense when alcohol is advertised, it may not be targeted to kids but it is still advertised, and it is also sold at professional sporting events where kids are in attendance. Alcohol use is glamorized by this country and it is ridiculous. There are millions of responsible marijuana users.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    If we were worried about societal harm, weed legalize pot and outlaw alcohol.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    “Marijuana Use Not Likely To Increase Accident Risk”…….but will increase White Castle wrappers and Doritos crumbs in the floorboard by a factor of 10.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    With the news coverage every day in Colorado, you’d think Denver’s brown cloud has turned to a green, smoky, pestilence, reducing every major intersection into a vortex of evil, sucking Nebraska and Oklahoma with it.

  • avatar
    John

    If you read the actual study, you find this fascinating piece of information, which was not mentioned in the article:

    Positive Alcohol (< 0.05) /
    No Drug 0.84 0.55 – 1.29 0.43

    The risk of having an accident with no drugs or alcohol on board was set at 1.00. This shows a risk of 0.84, with P <0.43, or a SIGNIFICANT reduction is accident risk if the driver HAD alcohol on board (but no drugs), with a blood alcohol of < 0.05 = about two drinks for an average male. There are numerous other flaws in the study, but this suggests to me it was junk science – or else the NHTSA is obligated to tell every American driver to have to drinks before getting behind the wheel – every time.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Maybe the “impairment begins with the first drink” baloney is malarkey?

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      If one looks at table 8 in the study, one can see how the result for bac<0.05 could be skewed by very low alcohol level adjusted risk values (namely 0.01 and 0.02).
      However one could also argue that people that have low alcohol levels know they are at risk but not intoxicated to the point of lowered inhibitions and therefor overcompensate to reduce risk of getting in trouble/accident. I know if I had one beer, even an hr ago, I'm very cautious not to attract unwanted attention.
      Since marijuana doesn't really lower inhibitions, the same mechanism could be at play.

      I need to digest the full study so take what I say at face value

      • 0 avatar
        John

        Best studies show a linear relationship between blood alcohol and impairment of cognition and motor skills, starting at one drink or less. Overcompensation could very well be a factor, however.

        Another flaw in the study is, it compares apples to oranges, and counts the results as bananas. It compares blood alcohol levels of drivers in accidents to positive tests for drugs, including marijuana. Problem is, there is no test for marijuana level in general use (or opiates, which the study also tested for). Plus, alcohol is cleared rapidly from the blood, THC, which most marijuana tests test for, is not – in fact, THC urine tests may be positive a week after smoking marijuana. So, to have a blood alcohol level > 0.05 the driver had to consume more than 2 drinks withing about one hour of the accident, but to have a positive marijuana test, the driver could have smoked marijuana 5 days before the accident. Opiates also have a linear dose response curve. An elephant can be rendered unconcious – or even dead – given enough opiates, yet the study found no significant accident risk with positive test for opiates. I call balony.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          I won’t call BS.
          The study does state that only THC was accounted for, not inactive metabolites, although threshold analysis similar to alcohol wasn’t done.
          As for opiates, again, it doesn’t determine whether someone had a small prescribe dose vs a “party dose”. It could very well be that the majority of people that take opiates, take them in a responsible, prescribed manner and as such don’t get into accidents significantly more than the control. Other studies do agree that the vast majority of people that use drugs, legal or otherwise, do not abuse them.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It’s not “baloney.” The methodology was provided and the limitations of the methodology are out in the open for all to see.

          The fact is that it’s quite easy to determine whether someone is drunk, whereas a THC test only tells us if someone has used marijuana some time in the past. The researchers understand that this is a problem, but they have to work with what they have.

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            The study was done using active THC tests – not the inactive metabolite tests done in most drug testing (which test for THC-COOH).
            THC metabolites stay in ones system for variable lengths of time (up to a couple weeks+) and only indicate past use
            THC stays in your body for a much shorter period (hours), sans very heavy users who can have elevated blood levels and show no impairment.

            That said, there is no clear tested impairment level for active THC so any and all levels were included in the study, with no differentiation. CO and I believe WA implemented a 5 ng/ml blood concentration for driving. Not sure where that number came from honestly – seemed like appeasement.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The point is that since there is no test that can measure marijuana intoxication, studies such as this one have inherent limitations.

            In effect, there are going to be a lot of false positives (people who test positively, but who are not high.) I would expect this to understate the effects of pot on driving, since there are sober drivers who are being included in the positive test group.

  • avatar
    lghthvyw8

    Why are so many people so concerned with people driving while high on weed? In all the years of it’s use I have yet to see any kind of movement about preventing people from driving while stoned, drunk yes. There are all kinds of groups trying to prevent drunk driving, from high schools to adult life. If driving while stoned is such a problem, where are all the crashes, where are all the dead bodies? Oh wait….they are under the bodies of people who are dead as the result of road rage, cell phones, and alcohol. And don’t reply and tell me that it happens, if you say that people crash and die while they are high, please provide a link proving it. I would ride with someone who was stoned any day, they are more observant, and far more cautious, I have rode with people who have road rage and they scare the shit out of me, the only thing a stoned drive may do is drive a little slow. You want to complain about distracted driving why don’t you start with cell phones, because people are dying from cell phone use while driving and not just from texting.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      Strangely, the people the think weed is grown by the devil himself, have only now thought about this issue?
      It is almost like they believe prohibition worked and because people hid use, nobody was doing it – what you can’t see can’t hurt…?

      Millions of people have been using marijuana for decades. If it caused anywhere close to even a 1/4 the havoc alcohol causes, we know about it.

      As for texting and stuff. It’s strange. It’s been shown texting can increase crash risk similar to a bac of 0.08.
      And yet one will land you in jail, the other mothers do with children in tow and should they be caught it’s a couple hundred dollar fine at most. There is little rationality I many of out laws. Marijuana prohibition is about te least rational policy I have ever seen

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • avatar
    shaker

    This gives me an idea – carpet-bomb northwest Iraq/northeast Syria with gasified THC, and make “rain” with care packages containing pot brownies and Doritos.

    Repeat as necessary.

    Make love, not war, as they say.

  • avatar
    andrewallen

    Brilliant shaker! The only way I could top your statement would be to add pork chops and sausages with HP sauce to the care packages. (consumption perfectly voluntary of course)

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