Tilray Announces Support For Study Examining Effects Of Driving Under The Influence Of Cannabis

CANADA: Tilray, a global leader in cannabis research and production, announced that it has partnered with researchers at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney to complete a study examining the effects of cannabis on driving and cognitive function.

Agreement represents major milestone recognizing medical cannabis as a conventional medicine for patients in need

“The Effects of Medicinal Cannabinoids on Driving” study was a double blind, placebo-controlled study that compared the effects of two varieties of cannabis – a variety containing high levels of THC and a variety containing a 1:1 balanced ratio of THC:CBD – to a placebo, which contained neither THC nor CBD. Tilray supplied the cannabis varieties for the study from its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

“We studied the extent to which cannabis affects driving and specifically, whether CBD moderates the effects of THC,” says Thomas Arkell, a Lambert Initiative researcher, who oversaw the trial. “The two main objectives of the six-month study were to characterize and understand how vaporized cannabis effects people’s driving and to establish whether there are differences in the effects of cannabis containing either high THC and very little CBD or a 1:1 balanced ratio of THC and CBD”.

The trial phase of this study was completed in 2018 and the published results are expected in 2019.

“We’re proud to support this important research,” says Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Vice President of Regulatory and Medical Affairs for Tilray. “Patient safety is a top priority at Tilray. The research conducted at the University of Sydney will provide solid scientific data on the implications for driving after consuming cannabis that will be an asset for the entire industry.”

Study: THC/CBD Administration Not Associated With Driving Impairment

NORWAY: The administration of an oral spray containing equal ratios of THC and CBD is not associated with either driving impairment or an increased risk of motor vehicle accident, according to a literature review published in the journal Brain and Behavior.

Norwegian and Spanish researchers reviewed the results from several driving performance studies that assessed subjects’ abilities following the use of THC:CBD oromucosal spray.

“Real-world registries did not show any evidence of an increase in motor vehicle accidents associated with THC:CBD oromucosal spray,” they reported. “The majority of patients reported an improvement in driving ability after starting THC:CBD oromucosal spray.” The spray, marketed in several countries throughout the world as the prescription drug Sativex, relieves spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Authors concluded, “THC:CBD oromucosal spray was shown not to impair driving performance.”

By contrast, the results of a recent series of driving studies conducted by a team of French researchers reported that the administration of 20mg of THC in occasional marijuana users can influence both subjective (e.g., subjects’ self-confidence) and objective measurements (e.g., changes in standard deviation in lateral performance) of driving performance. Authors reported that changes in participants’ driving behavior following THC dosing were more pronounced during simulated driving conditions versus real-world conditions – a finding that is consistent with those of previous studies.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “The influence of THC:CBD oromucosal spray on driving ability in patients with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity,” appears in Brain and Behavior. Full text of the study, “Cannabis smoking impairs driving performance on simulator and real driving: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial,” appears in Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology. NORML’s fact-sheet on cannabinoids’ influence on psychomotor performance is online.

Marijuana And DUI – Laws, Tests, And Penalties

By Robert Russel

The acronym DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence and it represents the crime of driving a vehicle while affected by alcohol or other drugs to a level when the driver can’t operate the vehicle safely.

Depending on the state that you are living in, penalties for alcohol and the drugs may differ. For example, in California, penalties for both are the same. Whether you are consuming alcohol, illegal or legal drugs(with or without the prescription), you will end up with a DUI. Actually, the most important thing is the influence that the substance by definition has on your “nervous system, brain or muscles”.

Marijuana in the DUI cases

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug involved in a DUI. Although this drug is legal somewhere, it is not important in the case you are affected by it while driving. Actually, you won’t be charged with Marijuana DUI when you possess this drug (since it can be legal in some cases), but you will if you consumed it.

Marijuana’s effects include sleepiness, memory breakdown, changed sense of time, increased appetite, mood changes, although its effects vary among users. Some may be affected more, while some people don’t feel anything of enumerated.

Testing Methods

When police suspect an individual for a Marijuana DUI, DRE’s (Drug Recognition Experts) will first try to spot certain signs of it. Signs may include:

  • Red eyes
  • Smell of marijuana
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Dilated pupils

Afterward, if they feel you are probably impaired, there are some tests that are usually done.

  • Blood test. This test detects the presence of THC, also known as  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, an active ingredient in cannabis and considered illegal. Although it is commonly used, it can’t reveal the usage of a drug within a couple of hours.
  • Urine test. This is the second possibility if you can’t take the blood test for some reason. It also checks the THC level and its inactive metabolites in your body.
  • Saliva test. This test is often used in Australia, but it is hard to conduct on the roads.

These tests aren’t always authoritative because THC can stay in the body even up to 30 days after consuming the cannabis. So every chronic user of cannabis, you should wait at least 30 days or more so that THC component will be out of your system. Because you can be charged with the DUI even if you stopped consuming it more than three weeks ago!

Penalties

Driving under the influence of Marijuana, an individual can be punished with:

  • 96 hours – 6 months in jail
  • Fine of $390 – $1000
  • Six months driver’s license suspension
  • Informal/summary probation of 3 – 5 years
  • Participation in a drug education class for 3 months

However, penalties vary according to whether it is a first or following conviction. The penalties also differ from the state. For example, the lowest fine is in Arkansas ($150), then in California, Montana, and Georgia ($350), while in Alaska and Texas fine isn’t lower than $1000.

As far as time in prison is concerned, an individual must spend at least 72 hours in prison in Alaska, and in Arizona not less than 10 days! The maximum of jail sentence is 1 year in most of the states.

If on the other hand have your fourth DUI or you caused an accident with bodily injuries or death, a Marijuana DUI elevates to a felony. The potential sentence will include:

  • 180 days in jail
  • 4-year license suspension
  • Five years probation
  • Fine up to $5000
  • Participation in an alcohol or drug education class for 18 months

Expungement for Marijuana DUI

Most of Marijuana DUI convictions are misdemeanors and are eligible for expungement. The things that are considered are:

  • He/she didn’t serve any time in state prison
  • He/she completed all terms and conditions of his/her probation
  • He/she didn’t commit a subsequent felony
  • No criminal charges are pending

As said, Marijuana effects are disputable and also is DUI. If you are among the people who are charged with DUI, you may try to hire a lawyer. The most important thing of all is speaking to a good one. A DUI lawyer knows it all about the defense for each substance and they also know how the judge will act about it, too. Also, the DUI tests evidence can be challenged.

Of course, if you are using Marijuana very often for whatever reasons, you may try to avoid driving for some time. Make sure that you don’t enter the car alone, so you won’t have to turn it on at all. You will surely save yourself from unnecessary hassle with the police and lawyers, and if cannabis affects you much, you will surely save others, too.

Colorado Reports Uptick In Marijuana-Related Driving Offenses In 2014

COLORADO: A majority of tickets for driving under the influence in Colorado involved marijuana in 2014, according to new law enforcement statistics released in September.

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area is a collection of federal, state and local law enforcement in four states. Colorado is the only one with legal recreational marijuana, so a new report from the agencies focus on its impact on the state.

In Denver, impaired driving tickets involving marijuana doubled from 33 to 66 in one year. The Colorado State Patrol reported that 77 percent of its cases involved marijuana.

Ontario To Bring In Stronger Punishment For Driving Under Influence Of Drugs

CANADA:  Canada’s stance on the legal use of marijuana remains somewhat ambiguous, with rules and their implementation varying on a case-by-case basis.

Certain parts of the marijuana debate, most notably the legality of medical marijuana, the recreational use of pot and the hesitance of some law enforcement agencies to crack down on it, continue to be discussed at length. But there has been little argument about what users can and should do while under the influence – most notably, refrain from operating motor vehicles.

Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal across Canada, and several provinces have already laid out strict punishments for the action. Ontario will soon strengthen its own, when the government approves a new set of amendments for traffic laws in the province.

Bill 31, unambiguously called the Transportation Statue Law Amendment Act, was introduced before the previous provincial election and will soon return to Queen’s Park.

 

Arizona Court Rules On DUI Law For Marijuana Users

ARIZONA:  Authorities can’t prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.

The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.

The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.