Study Shows Cannabis Use Does Not Affect Next-Day Driving

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By TG Branfalt

A study by the Toronto, Canada-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that while drivers under the influence of cannabis shows signs of driving impairment immediately after consumption, they performed normally in driving tests 24 and 48 hours later, according to a Global Newsreport outlining the study.

The study, using a driving simulator, allowed participants to control their own cannabis consumption, which varied the THC in the blood of the subjects and ranged from zero to 42 nanograms per milliliter – which is about 10 times more than the legal limit in Canada.

Immediately after smoking, the group that consumed THC drove inappropriately slowly and centered the simulated car in the lane poorly.

“We found significant evidence of difference in driver behavior, heart rate and self-reported drug effects 30 minutes after smoking cannabis, but … we found little evidence to support residual effects,” the researchers said.

Scott Macdonald, a retired professor at the University of Victoria, said the nation’s drugged driving laws – which require no trace of THC when operating a vehicle – are “not scientific” and argued that the 24-hour after-effects of cannabis are a myth.

“When people smoke cannabis, they’re only impaired for a short, short period of time. You could have THC in your bloodstream, but you’re not a danger,” he told Global News.


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