Marijuana's Risk To Drivers Debated

CALIFORNIA: As California advocates ponder a renewed push to legalize marijuana for adults, law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts are warning of a side effect of states allowing the drug for medical or recreational use: the danger caused by people driving while high.

Research is incomplete on how much marijuana it takes to impair driving. But Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said being even a little intoxicated on marijuana is unacceptable.

“Smoking marijuana has a very negative effect on your ability to operate a motor vehicle,” Kerlikowske said. “It’s quite dangerous to you, your passengers and others on the road.”

Marijuana advocates acknowledge that driving under the influence of cannabis is ill-advised. But they argue that law enforcement’s concern is overblown, and point to a 2012 study that concluded the auto accident risk posed by marijuana is on par with antihistamines and penicillin. [Read more…]