Let’s talk about drunk driving for just a moment. Let me share with you a few facts and stats collected by the authoritative Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
- EVERY TWO MINUTES, A PERSON IS INJURED IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH.
- DRUNK DRIVING COSTS THE UNITED STATES $199 BILLION A YEAR.
- DRUNK DRIVING COSTS EACH ADULT IN THE UNITED STATES ALMOST $800 PER YEAR.
- EVERY DAY IN AMERICA, ANOTHER 28 PEOPLE DIE AS A RESULT OF DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES.
- EACH DAY, PEOPLE DRIVE DRUNK ALMOST 300,000 TIMES, BUT FEWER THAN 4,000 ARE ARRESTED.
You are probably asking yourself “why on earth are we talking about drunk driving?” The answer is simple: because drunk driving and stoned driving are usually equated. As a matter of fact, even in the states where cannabis is legal—and not only for medical purposes—people cannot drive if they are HIGH. Plus, personally, I don’t know a single person who would claim stoned driving and drunk are not very similar and equally dangerous: do you?
Science, however, says something different.
For instance,in its 2002 Cannabis: Summary Report: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy (Ottawa. Chapter 8: Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis), the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs clearly suggests that “cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving, [but] it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. [However,] this in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk. … Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.”
Scientists have also underlined that “the results to date of crash culpability studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes. … [In] cases in which THC was the only drug present were analyzed, the culpability ratio was found to be not significantly different from the no-drug group” (G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002. Cannabis and alcohol in motor vehicle accidents. In: F. Grotenhermen and E. Russo (Eds.) Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. New York: Haworth Press. Pp. 313-323).
Sure, you probably shouldn’t drive or perform a surgery if your high. But, once again, alcohol is just worst… and I mean, MUCH worst.