Smoking pot doubles car accident risk
Smoking marijuana a couple of hours before you drive almost doubles your chances of having a serious car crash, say Canadian researchers.
The study led by Associate Professor Mark Asbridge from Dalhousie University in Halifax, is the first to review of data from drivers who had been treated for serious injuries or died in car accidents.
The level of impairment from smoking pot might not be as severe as alcohol intoxication, but it does require a public health response, a researcher says. (Noah Berger/Associated Press)“To our knowledge this meta-analysis is the first to examine the association between acute cannabis use and the risk of motor vehicle collisions in real life,” the researchers write in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.
The researchers reviewed nine observational studies with a total sample of 49,411 accident victims. To rule out the effects of alcohol or other drugs the researchers calculated the odds for cases where cannabis — but no alcohol or other drugs — was detected in blood test or the driver had reported smoking three hours before crash.
They found that smoking cannabis three hours before driving nearly doubled a driver’s risk of having a motor vehicle accident.
But the level of tetrahydrocannabionol (THC) — the active compound in marijauna — in the blood that leads to impairment is unclear as most of the studies just measured for the presence of THC in the blood.
Marijuana, alcohol impairment compared Australian Broadcasting Corporation