News » Driving High on Marijuana Not an Impairment, Study Says

August 17, 2010 by

Despite what the nation’s “Drug Czar” Gil Kerlikowske might say and what his office might promote, it’s being proven that driving under the influence of marijuana does not make you a dangerous driver. In fact, a new study shows that it makes virtually no difference in the driving abilities of most drivers.

Of course, that may not be saying much given the state of some highways in this nation, but at least the road hogs and blind spot lurkers don’t drive any worse while high.

Most of the studies for stoned and drunk driving were conducted in the 1970s. Driving simulators, measurement tools, and even drug potency were different then. Although studies into drunk driving have continued to the present, studies of marijuana’s effects on driving have not. A new study from researchers at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center has found that marijuana’s effects on driving – including separating data between men and women – is negligible.1

The research is legitimate, double-blind, placebo-controlled and used 85 subjects (50 men, 35 women) on driving simulators. Subjects were tested sober and then shortly after having smoked either a 2.9% THC marijuana joint or an identical placebo.

The only measurable difference in driving between those who were sober when stoned was that they tended to slow down and drive slower than otherwise. Which any safety advocate will tell you is almost always a good thing.

Other studies conducted overseas, including one in Israel published in 2008,2 showed similar results.

These studies and their findings should call into question every “impaired driving” law in which marijuana is treated the same as alcohol and hard drugs.

Of course, as marijuana becomes more and more socially acceptable and laws regarding its use loosen or are eliminated, a review of laws that lump it in with other, much more impairing drugs should be conducted as well.

1 – Sex differences in the effects of marijuana on simulated driving performance. by BM Anderson, M Rizzo, et al, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, March 2010

2 – Effects of THC on driving performance, physiological state and subjective feelings relative to alcohol. by A Ronen, P Gershon, et al, Accident; analysis and prevention, May 2008


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192 Responses

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  1. Yes im joining all of the teapot parties across the good ole usa

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  2. Two winters ago, I was almost in FIVE different wrecks, because the “Sober Driver” was the one NOT paying any attention and I, the “bad driver” (Cause I was high), was the reason there WASN’T an accident. Apparently, I DO pay more attention than they do.

  3. As people in the know have been saying all along…

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  4. I saw another study that concluded that those driving under the influence of marijuana were responsible for 87.2% of America’s traffic jams due to their propensity to drive 36 MPH in the fast lane on the freeway.

  5. Well the next test has to be that Marijuana is an Enhancement of the Driving Process! which of course it is – many of us have had similar experiences to yours – after all we are more aware!! Duh!

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  6. More proof. Come on people, why is this still illegal?

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  7. No shit sherlock…duhhh….less dangerous than cigarettes and liquior

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  8. Is there anything else on your mind other than pot?

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  9. at least i am not telling everyone when i am taking a dump

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  10. this is very important to me because of all the benefits of using it for medical purposes you keep to all your man made synthetic chemicals that are killing people

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  11. and stay naive and brainwashed this was to help educate people apparently you are one of them jenny

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  12. well jenny yes i do. I had corneal transplants when i was 12 one of the risks with eye surgery is glaucoma. I have not been diagnosed with it but don’t want to be. So i have been doing preventable maintainance. One of the best things for the pressure in your eyes that causes glaucoma is cannabis. If i do get glaucoma i am a a greater risk of being blind by cornea rejection.

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  13. Yes I agree synthetic drugs are horrible. That is why I only snort and smoke organic opium, for medicinal reasons of course.

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  14. Christeen Landino via Facebook on

    Gee, what we’ve known for years…

  15. “You just gotta let your hands work the controls AS IF you were straight, man.” — Tommy Chong’s spaceship-driving alien character in the original Heavy Metal movie.

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  16. Listen up all you armed, badged, under oath, revenue collecting, staute (color of law) , legal fiction persons (COPS).

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  17. [...] Driving High on Marijuana Not an Impairment, Study Says | Medical Marijuana News | CannaCentral [...]

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