Marijuana’s effects on driving

Published Jun 12, 2019 11:11 a.m. ET
iStock / Ben Harding

It is fair to say that marijuana can significantly affect your judgment, reaction times, and motor coordination. All who enjoy partaking have to some degree felt those effects. Marijuana and driving can be dangerous, and if you are stopped and found guilty of driving under the influence, you can be ready to pay some hefty fines.

Driving while high has negative effects on your peripheral vision, it is decreased. This is the issue of whether using alcohol or marijuana: however, driving under the influence of cannabis has a few different effects than impaired driving using alcohol. Alcohol-impaired driving can produce an aggressive and reckless driver while marijuana and driving use seems to do the exact opposite. Cannabis will give you a laid-back feeling that may not be conducive to the focus that is needed when driving the highways and roads. Many users believe that they can maximize their concentration, alas this may be true when focusing on one subject but driving needs you to be able to multi-task, and this is just not possible and safely achieved while driving under the influence of marijuana.

Marijuana and driving, when combined, can cause problems due to the synergistic effects of combining the two. The two substances enhance each other’s effects. You will find that you are drunker while consuming less alcohol when cannabis is introduced into the mix, and vice versa, your effects of the cannabis are enhanced with the combination of the alcohol.

If you are pulled over for suspected driving under the influence trained officers will assess you for several characteristics, that accompany cannabis impaired driving.

• Distorted time perception
• Short-term memory loss
• Drowsiness
• Loss of coordination
• Dilated pupils
• Red eyes

As of October 2019, approaches, the legal consumption and selling of edibles, lotions, tinctures drinks will be upon us. When consuming edible, you must allow for the onset, which is much longer and could find you feeling and exhibiting the effects while you are driving. The 45-minute time frame for edibles to be felt can make a dangerous way for the driver of a vehicle to partake. The timing of the effects is different for each person, and the level of the high is unpredictable and long lasting for each person. Driving under the influence, whether it be alcohol or cannabis, is illegal and irresponsible behavior. Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of criminal death, along with injury in Canada today.

iStock / anyaberkut

The levels of THC in your system can have two outcomes; if you have between 2 nanograms and 5 ng of THC per ml of blood, this is a lesser offence. However, more than 5ng of THC in your system will result in a more serious charge.

The penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana can vary, depending on:

• the concentration of the drug in your system
• Is it your first offence?
• Did you cause bodily harm or death to another individual?

If you are caught driving with more than 5ng of THC in your blood within 2 hours of driving, here are some of the consequences.

• First offence $1000
• The second offence is 30 days imprisonment
• The third offence is 10 years imprisonment

Let’s be responsible, driving under the influence or operating machinery while high is dangerous and can lead to a life altering situation.

Enjoy your cannabis and be responsible.

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