The Great Marijuana Myth: Is Driving High Dangerous?

A recent study finds that drivers who smoke marijuana within a few hours of driving are more likely to get into an accident than sober drivers. Find out how much more.

Marijuana plant

Last week, the British Medical Journal published a study about the effects of smoking cannabis (aka marijuana, pot, weed, Mary Jane) on driving ability. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, analyzed 9 prior studies and concluded that — contrary to most pot smokers’ beliefs — driving high leads to a higher risk of car accidents.

Now, before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room: pot is illegal in most states. But (as we know) people smoke it regardless of what the law says. However, no matter what folks tell you, driving under the influence of any controlled substance is illegal and dangerous.

We could write endlessly about reckless driving — drinking, using a cellphone, and even driving tired all put you and others at risk — but for our purposes today, let’s focus on Dalhousie’s study and the specific dangers of smoking pot and driving.

Weed and driving effects

Turns out, drivers who smoke marijuana within a few hours of driving are almost twice as likely to get into an accident as sober drivers. And though the accident stats aren’t as bad as they are for drinking and driving, the risk is palpable.

While alcohol is still the most common accident-inducing substance, a recent survey quoted on the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Web site found that 6.8 percent of drivers who were involved in accidents — most of whom were under 35 — tested positive for THC (the chemical found in marijuana).

Smoking weed and driving laws

Unlike testing for alcohol levels, researchers and law enforcement officials have not yet determined how to accurately test for levels of marijuana intoxication. Many states, however, have begun to take a hard line on this public safety issue and police officers are now being trained to detect signs of marijuana intoxication. And make no mistake about it: driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs — including legal-use marijuana — is illegal in all states.

Get a breakdown of drugged driving laws here.

The great marijuana myth

It’s possible you’ve heard a pot aficionado state:  “I’m a better driver when I’m stoned.” Not true. A major issue with drugged driving is that when you’re high (well, not you specifically, we know you’d never do that), you don’t always realize that your judgment is impaired. This is especially true for teenagers who are already at-risk drivers. Couple this with a few hits of ganja, and the buzz can become, well, killer.

Though it varies by person, it generally takes at least 3–4 hours to come down from a high. No amount of strong coffee or greasy food is going to sober you up faster.

Drinking and driving vs. smoking weed and driving

Most of us grew up hearing “don’t drink and drive,” but not nearly as much effort was put into preventing the combination of smoking pot and driving. Yet marijuana affects reaction time, spatial sense, and perception — all of which are crucial to safe driving. So when a person is driving high, they may end up following another car too closely (and brake too late), make unsafe turns, or misjudge road hazards.

The fact remains: weed and driving don’t mix

In the coming years, we may see a move toward the legalization of pot. But no matter where you stand on the issue — “a need for weed” or “not for pot” — we should all be on the same page when it comes to designating a driver who abstains from ALL mind-altering substances (legal or not).

If you’re into graphs and footnotes, you can read the whole British Medical Journal study here.

Related links

Driving on drugs: stats and facts
National Institute of Drug Abuse article on drugged driving
National Institute of Drug Abuse research report on marijuana abuse
CNN reports marijuana nearly doubles the risk of collisions
Dalhousie University report

321 Responses to “The Great Marijuana Myth: Is Driving High Dangerous?”

  1. TBone
    December 16, 2012 #

    You wrote: "the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Web site found that 6.8 percent of drivers who were involved in accidents — most of whom were under 35 — tested positive for THC"
    My response: THC can show up in drug tests for 30 days after a person smokes. This data is flawed. It should take into account that there were many of these people who simply got into an accident, maybe that they didn't cause but were only "involved in", and although THC was present in their system it in no way contributed to the person having an accident. More studies should be done to remove the the victims in accidents who didn't cause the accident from the data set. Once that is done, the study should address how many of those persons who caused the accident were actually under the influence of MJ at the time of the accident.

    You wrote: [this is] "especially true for teenagers who are already at-risk drivers"
    My response: No one is advocating for legalization for teens, this is irrelevant.

    Lastly, my uncle (a veteran, a peaceful, honorable citizen all of his life), drove nearly two million miles stoned in semi trucks. He competed in the North Carolina state wide semi truck driving competitions in the '80s (where he negotiated an obstacle course that many people could not complete in a car). He had absolutely NO accidents for his entire driving career – we still have his safe driving awards from his company with his personal effects. He quit driving mainly because once the war on drugs brought the law into the weigh stations he decided that if he could not be free to smoke when he was driving he would rather not drive. This man smoked while driving an 80,000lb vehicle for more than 20 years without even one accident. He quit driving because of laws which were created by people who are either ignorant of the truth about MJ or need for it to be illegal to protect their job; or (and this is most likely), they are BOTH ignorant AND prosecute the totally failed, unjust, unconstitutional "war on drugs".

    Read the Schaffer Report and the political climate in which it was written. That is very enlightening.

    • Stu
      December 18, 2012 #

      Thank You.

      • johnnyC
        January 2, 2013 #

        My response: THC can show up in drug tests for 30 days after a person smokes. This data is flawed. It should take into account that there were many of these people who simply got into an accident, maybe that they didn't cause but were only "involved in", and although THC was present in their system it in no way contributed to the person having an accident.
        =================

        And thats why Marijuana should never be legalized. If even an incompetent lawyer can get any dopehead off with this argument legalization of dope should not even be considered.

      • Dick Chain Knee
        January 8, 2013 #

        6.8%? That's it?

        Why not focus on the causes of the 93.2% of accidents that do not involve a guy who smoked last week?

    • Loni Kolski
      December 20, 2012 #

      Nice, well daid my friend… :-)

      • michael Daniels
        December 23, 2012 #

        While I personally having been a smoker for over 30 years am another person who states my driving is not effective at all.Saying that I am currenttly working on a quick blood prick to the finger device that will tell if a driver has smoked in the last 2 hours.Being a Marijuana caregiver and smoker.I believe if some causes a fatal crash or is driving in and out of the lines like a druck. I see no harm in having this person tested.but if a person is pulled over for a headlight being out, or seat bealt regulation the police should have no right to test them.I hope the kit I come up with lands in every police car in the world someday but its to be used proply and not to cause an all out wicht hunt on pot heads suppies of testing strips will be regulated to assure no misusess are happeing.Most drivers exspeically ones who have smoked most their adult lives are great driver and marijuana does to impire their driving skills at all.Some new medical smoker and teensmokers who should noy be smoking anyway until at least 18 or 20 mite have problems smoking while driving but really compared to drunk driving the rates of death cases are not even close enough to make a big deal of it. I New York for instance you can drive to a methadone clinic take 200 mgs of methadone and jump in your car and drive away a far more intoxicating drug then Marijuana face they facts more American smoke pot everyday than any substance and socitey has not paid with one fatal car crash were alcohol was not the main factor if the only.My testing kits will be fare to both drivers and police.The debate goes on I'm sure.

    • R Dawg
      December 20, 2012 #

      Take it easy bro! First of all we need to be open minded and responsibele here. You're saying there may be victims of auto accidents that may have been included in the stats that may have tested positive for THC. Really! C'mon now, just how many "victims" do you think actually got tested and were included in this statistic? And even if what you are saying reduces the percentage by (and I'm going high here) 2%, that still leaves 4.8%. In my estimation 1% is too high and we need to address this problem. Bottom line here is NO ONE should be driving high, on ANYTHING! Now you mention your uncle who drove nearly 2 million miles STONED! Shame on him! And shame on you for trying to put him on this GOOD DRIVING pedestal. I'm sure he didn't compete in the North Carolina statewide driving competiotions while high, and if he was, I know he didn't brag about it to any official of the cometition as he would have been excluded. Stop and think about this for a while, lets say he was involved in an accident in his 80,000 lb. rig and caused a fatality. You wouldn't be bragging about your uncle right now as he would be in jail and lose his class A license for being irresponsible as he was for more than 20 years. Don't be ignorant! If a driver of ANY vehicle who was HIGH, caused one of your friends or family members to loose their life you wouldn't put them on the same pedestal you're trying to put your uncle on. That I'm sure of. I can bet you're a pot smoker, and if that is the case I hope your not smoking it "illegally" but either way at least be responsible about it and stay off the road where me, my friends and my family share the road with you. Pot is just now becoming legal in some states and I'm sure other states will legalize as well which means the statistics are only going to grow. Be smart, drive sober!! Better yet, live sober!

      • Rudy
        December 23, 2012 #

        First of all r dog, calling people ignorant because they have an opnion is a clear indication of ignorance. Every one is entitled to his or her beliefs, as for the thc were you aware that we as homosapiens have receptors in our brain to recieve thc. Its tru its a well know medical fact, ive taken several A.P classes and all state the same.Cannibus has been given a bad rap for many years despite of its benifits, it is prescribed for cancer,aids, and glacoma patients. These are severe conditions in which the cannibus helps the patients more than any other medication, wonder why? Ill tell you because its natural and intended to be used to help. When have you heard of a dr. perscribing a quart of bush to help some one, never because it has no benefit to the body alcohol is a toxin and thats why it can make you fight your family or any one that looks at you wrong. Granted not all (but most do get beer balls)get violent but the reaction to beer has no medical value what so ever, it destroys the liver the body and the heart. As for driving, people who smoke tend to be more alert as they are aware of there surroundings and mostly looking out. While we are on being aware that also is why thc is illegal because if everyone smoked instead of drank more people would see that football,nascar, basketball,baseball,and all other sports and yes im gonna say it church are ther to keep us distracted of whats really going on, its a way to keep us on opposite sides so that we do not unite as one and put a stop to all the bullshit.Now never did i say church is bad, in fact its great but we should not say that any is better than the other. It dosent matter what you call him,god,muhhamed,jesus, yaway, yoshua bentwa its all the same but we are to caught up in the diffrences to see that.Back to thc if you a smoker ask them when was the last time they got so high that they forgot what they did the night before .Now ask someone who drinks that same question.People wake up and see where we are headed look at all the bullshit happening every where school shootings mass murder this is not how we were intended to live.Just something to leave you all thinking about did you know that we have been ruled by the same family since the get go thats right!! Look up how george bush is related to juan carlos spains president, yup if you research since washington the presidential cannidate with the most royal genes has won every presidential election sad but true.The libor scandal?You all know it better as the batman shooter yeah him his dad discovered that the banks had been stealing money through a math equation as was scheduled to testify in court but now will not to help his son its not by chance people read!!!!! read!!!!!

    • Gabriel
      January 3, 2013 #

      "THC stays in the system for 30 days." "Stoned teen statistics are irrelevant because it's illegal." "Other factors have higher chances to cause accidents." None of these arguments address the main point of the article, which is that being stoned affects driving. Period.

      • Dell
        January 3, 2013 #

        Well Said.

      • R Dawg
        January 3, 2013 #

        I agree. Well said Dell!!!!

      • R Dawg
        January 3, 2013 #

        I meant Gabriel. Well said!!

    • Anon
      January 6, 2013 #

      If you drive drunk — not blackout hammered but reasonably sauced — you might increase your risk of having a wreck from 0.0001% to 0.00015% (all numbers are pulled out of my ass). So first of all, I think the claim that people on pot are "twice as likely" to have wrecks is a little extreme. But on the other hand, just because one person made it 20 years without an accident doesn't mean a thing. A lot of people drive sauced on a somewhat regular basis for a lot of years, hell my friend's dad in his sixties drove around on LSD when he was young and never hit anything. That doesn't mean it isn't more dangerous.

      I'm speaking as someone who has smoked a lot over the years, so I don't think this point can be disregarded easily — there needs to be some penalty for driving stoned. However, that being said, driving stoned is a damn sight better than driving drunk, so I would think it should be more along the lines of a $300 speeding ticket than a life-altering DUI conviction with possible jail time.

    • Cat402
      January 9, 2013 #

      Great comment. I wish more people understood the facts and the myths revolving around this topic.

    • Jen
      January 11, 2013 #

      Yes, thank you. I have driven "stoned" for 17 years (not every time I drive but over this course of time) and I am accident free, and have a clean DMV record. I disagree full heartedly that it is worse than drinking and driving. In fact, I don't drink and drive- I find it to be too dangerous and not worth the risk. I don't really drink anyways. More and more studies like this will start coming out I sense- in an effort to create more laws to create more revenue and disinformation. Wah.

    • Maria
      January 31, 2013 #

      Tbone person…I never make comments on news articles or any other website, but I had to take exception here. People like you make it terrifying to even be out on the road. The words "defensive driving" take on a whole new meaning for the rest of us that try to be responsible drivers, when marjiuana-defending people like yourself seem to be trying to promote driving while stoned. I have seen first hand some poor and downright dangerous maneuvers from big rig truckers… that only because of actions of other drivers, narrowly avoided resulting in a horrific collision – thanks for explaining WHY those particular truckers were driving so badly. I had my suspicions.
      It's all good until someone you love is injured or killed by a doping stoner who smoked marijuana and then decided to go for a drive. It is absolutely just as bad as DUI – the criminals who do it just get away with it. It's a disgusting habit that promotes irresponsible people and the criminal element… It's illegal for a reason. Your ignorance is disturbing… which shows why esurance had to publish an article to inform people that smoking pot and then driving is dangerous. Most of us know that. The fact that you argue it is ridiculous.

      • Jluan
        February 1, 2013 #

        Big rig truckers generally take hardcore drugs, not just marijuana. Your entire post is based on misinformation, assumptions and opinion. There are a plethora of bad drivers out there driving sober, for you to focus on the very small percentage of accidents that are correlated with marijuana (without casual evidence). I have had 2 accidents from people smashing into me driving careless, and in both cases they got a ticket- nothing more. One of them skipped court, and no capias was issued even, just a fine. Our legal system is a joke, and so are people who refuse to acknowledge that they have simply been brainwashed when it comes to marijuana.

        So if you're such a good driver, I imagine you also never eat and drive, or talk on your phone, or do your makeup, or anything else. Caffeine is a "drug"…do you drink coffee before you drive? Cigarettes are drugs that give you a nicotine high; do you complain about people who smoke cigarettes and drive? What about the many people driving on pharmaceuticals? But you are scared of the weed smokers? Laughable.

      • bill
        February 22, 2013 #

        Maria, you are the uninformed one here, do some research, not biased stats, but actual unbiased results. A buzz from pot is nowhere near as bad, or as incapacitating as alcohol intoxication. I'm speaking from personal experience. Before you call me a pot head, know this, I drank very heavy for a number of years, and I smoked for quite a few years. I do neither of those now, and I feel alcohol should be the one to be outlawed. Just the thoughts from and ex-drunk, ex-stoner.

    • bob
      February 7, 2013 #

      Yeah sure they get in accidents but they're only driving 5 MPH

  2. Goddy Benzoa
    December 17, 2012 #

    If anything, this study only proves that stoned driving is a non issue. Twice as many chances? Eating and driving carries 5 times the risk. Having your brat throw a tantrum in the back raises it to 9 times the risk.
    I saw some joker doing the crosswords while driving. The only time pot will lead to a wreck is if some idiot is trying to smoke their bong while driving.

    • Loni Kolski
      December 20, 2012 #

      Dead on :-)

  3. NormanLake
    December 17, 2012 #

    America is a medicated society. ANY given pharmaceutical medication could cause the same loss of attention span as marihuana., so that is not the issue., rather the wisdom of driving under ANY influence, even rage, or stress…

    • Loni Kolski
      December 20, 2012 #

      YES! Agreed!!

  4. Tom Owens
    December 18, 2012 #

    Lost a couple of friends, years ago. They were stoners and made dumb mistakes. I could have died as well several times., but was lucky.

  5. Mike smith
    December 18, 2012 #

    Pot causes one to do silly things while driving.Like eating or taking ones eyes off of the road to read something or to answer an in coming call on a cell phone.
    You've heard the phrase having your head up your ass.
    I know of two deaths in as many years where the driver who caused the accident is and was
    A long time pot smoker and in both "accidents" the drivers did something silly.
    There are hundreds of accidents where the people involved were never tested for weed only alcohol.

    • Tony
      December 26, 2012 #

      We already have idiots that take their eyes of the road or road text that aren't smokers, so should we ban ignorant people from driving also?

      • Charley Machine
        January 5, 2013 #

        Smokin' weed always made me more alerted cause my eyes were peeled for the policemans… Reliable? I had a $50 a day habit & never missed a payment! (Apologies to Richard Pryor)

  6. DeAnna. Stanley
    December 18, 2012 #

    This study is a major fail. I could have smoked weeks ago, get in a wreck today and test postive for THC. At the time of he wreck I was sober, but of course your test would count me as "mind alterted" also, if you have had done or researched anything on marijuana you would know it increasea the attentiveness of those who are otherwise anxious and nervous while driving.

    • Loni Kolski
      December 20, 2012 #

      Agreed, Lovin the comments!! :-)

  7. Raymond
    December 18, 2012 #

    It's obvious that the author is just againts pot in general; and I'm a non smoker. You have a better chance of an accident while under the influence of marijuana over a sober person? well DUH, I would think that would go for everything else. Like texting, eating, ANYTHING.

    • wxp
      December 19, 2012 #

      hmm, i did not pick up that jessica was against pot in general. but i do agree with you that anything, including pot, putting on makeup, texting, etal, will increase the odds for an accident.

    • Loni Kolski
      December 20, 2012 #

      Agreed!!

  8. eric
    December 19, 2012 #

    I think what this article has missed is to compare other driving habbits as well.
    so with 6.8 percent of all accidents with a positive test for thc (witch we do not know if the person was stoned at the time) seems to me a small number.
    Another question, what is the percentage in fatal accidents.
    and finally say these persons under the influence of pot were changing the radio station. or texting.
    So they were high but it wasn't the impairment, but the distraction from the road that happens to everyone.

  9. George
    December 19, 2012 #

    Drinking a beer then driving is safe for most people. Take a hit of pot then drive, probably the same. Some people don't stop at one, do you want to be one of their victims. I don't think the country needs another mind altering drug legalized especially if some people can't self moderate.

    • don
      December 28, 2012 #

      Because having it be illegal has stopped people from using it? Prohibition = impossible.

  10. Terry
    December 19, 2012 #

    I smoked and drove when I was younger.I recall "zoning" out on occasion,if only for a few seconds.If you enjoy gettin' a buzz,do it and designate a driver.Trust me kids(I'm 57),just be responsible.

  11. Pheez
    December 20, 2012 #

    An "article" from an auto insurance company found another reason to spike rates? Like, noooooo way. Love the "facts" in the article. This is indisputable, well, at least once heresay becomes accepted fact.

  12. Gator Mann
    December 21, 2012 #

    This so called research was done by a car insurance company. The same industry who forces auto drivers to wear seat belts, while letting motorcycle riders ride helmet free (if they buy special insurance). That's true about THC lingering about a month on fatty cells.
    Also the if you stop smoking, in 30 days you'll be "clean" is a myth. That time frame is for the occasional smoker (3 numbers a week). The daily smoker (2 or more numbers a day) will have a much longer wait to "clean out". The more THC hooked to your fatty cells the longer for them to exit your body. Bottom line here, we need more "time oriented" tests, like the breath-a-lizer does to booze. Just because a body test positive for THC, doesn't mean the person is buzzed right now. I think these research people may of smoked a leftty while coming up w/this nonsense!

  13. Scarr
    December 21, 2012 #

    That's funny, not long ago I read a SCIENTIFIC report stating that people who are high on Marijuana drive safer than people who are not. I tend to believe science over opinions and slanted facts.

    • Scarr
      December 21, 2012 #

      And 3-4 hours before coming down? Where are people getting that quality? I've never heard of anyone being high for more than an hour or so, unless they're on hallucinogens, which really are deadly behind the wheel (and people do it, too).

      • brando
        January 4, 2013 #

        Never heard of anyone being high for more than an hour? You must not know where to get the good stuff. With good stuff, 4 hours can be lowballing it.

  14. tramky
    December 23, 2012 #

    I have driven a car while under the influence of alcohol maybe 3-4 times in my life, and each time, in my admittedly biased opinion, I got through the process in good shape without losing control or causing–or being involved in–any accident at all.

    The ONE time I drove a car while under the influence of marijuana was, beyond any doubt, the scariest occasion of my entire life while behind the wheel. At 30 mph I could NOT keep that car on my side of the duoble-yellow line. I simply could not manage it. And I was yammering away to the one passenger with me all the while. I had the presence of mind to pull over to the curb, turn off the engine, and sit there for a few minutes, trying to pull myself together.

    After 5 minutes or so, I started driving again, exerting the greatest level of willpower and conscious thinking to the act of driving that car. I managed to do a pretty good job, but it was a struggle. Too much of a struggle. Got home safely that time, and NEVER smoked marijuana again–that was 36 years ago. Just far too scary.

    As for the potheads here and their apologists, the stories about stoners being wonderful drivers, driving trucks for years, and all that crap–don't believe ANY of it for one minute. It is a LIE!

    • thisguy
      December 29, 2012 #

      You're simply a bad driver, or not familiar with toking. Don't think you're own firsthand experience changes the capabilities of other drivers. People can be different from one another, you know.

    • KaolinSlate
      January 2, 2013 #

      So let me guess you drink often and only smoked pot once. Do you have any concept of tolerance?

    • D
      February 13, 2013 #

      Your an idiot. Just like alcohol everyone has different tolerances. Obviously your first time smoking. Anxiety was the cause of your unfortunate experience. Maybe if you werent influenced by regans regime you might have an open mind. I hate people who have no idea what b.s. is coming out of their illiterate mouth. People have been smoking weed for hundreds of years. And still alcohol beats every statistic. Quit being blind and influenced by stupid politicians. And the population who has been brainwashed from political propaganda . Get real u.s. even painkillers and other man made drugs affect people more than thc.

  15. Dr
    December 23, 2012 #

    If you can't take a rip and drive safe then you shouldn't be smoking. Your really screwing it up for all the responsible par takers. PS it would get this economy turned around quickly. Legalize it and tax it and it will be tobacco's sequel

  16. Catch22!
    December 23, 2012 #

    The article also got it wrong on testing. There is a blood test for THC. If you are suspected of driving while high, they will hall your ass in and do a blood test. It only picks up levels of use for a few hours. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=blood%20test%20for%20thc&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.canorml.org%2Fhealthfacts%2Fdrugtestguide%2Fdrugtestdetection.html&ei=Ax3XUMP9I9TrqAHTkoDAAw&usg=AFQjCNFf4yZ8umuyrZZ_uaUDC6-YxTm2kA&sig2=4GGRf4GvWR2kge_WI9V5Hw&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.aWM

  17. big D
    December 23, 2012 #

    I just wanna say I smoke and drive high all the time multiple times a day..

    accident free!

  18. Jganga
    December 24, 2012 #

    Is she stupid? I mean no offense, it stays in your system for 30 days. ,so perhaps I smoke aa joint blunts and a few bong hits monday .now Friday I go driving,no smoking ,and I get into a accident. Of course I'm going to have thc in my system -___- I just smoked the beginning of the week .does that mean that I smoked befor I went driving because I have thc in my system? ? No scooby…it's idiots like you who spread false information,lies,and bullshit half ass studies because you want it illegal or whatever b.s reason you have…you're. An idiot .all offense :p

  19. Jango Davis
    December 24, 2012 #

    NROMAL, of course, has an excellent repsonse to these "studies."

    http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scientific-evidence#Driving

    • brando
      January 4, 2013 #

      In fairness, NORML ( National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws ) has just as much reason to be bias as eSurance does on this particular issue. Back on topic, I used to drive high everytime I drove multiple times a day for more than 4 years and I was involved in 2 accidents. Guess what. Neither of these accidents were my fault. Instead they were caused by completely sober people not paying attention. My step mother on the other hand, the you-know-what that she is, has been involved in numerous at-fault accidents and she is the most straight edge person you could ever meet. Honestly I'm not sure why she still has a license to operate a motor vehicle. Having said all of that, please do not think I'm advocating that anyone should or shouldn't smoke before they drive for everyone reacts to substances differently. What doesn't work for one person may be the only way it can be done for another.

  20. rev gary
    December 24, 2012 #

    This article has one main purpose-its an insurance commercial. The data is skewed and it was a waste of time to read. Personally, I feel pot should be decriminalized. If a driver fails a mouth swab, fine, charge them with DUI. But urine and hair tests for cannibis are a joke. I once failed a urine test after TWO MONTHS of sobriety. And yet, if I had been tested for most other drugs, a few days would sufficed to pass. I would much prefer to deal with a stoner than a drunk ANY day of the week. And as an ordained minister, if pot was legal, yes, I would smoke or ingest it for my meditation. Afterall, its a product of nature. Its natural. God made it and I trust him.

    • Juan Lopez
      December 28, 2012 #

      Good for you man, seriously, good for you.

      • carol jacks
        February 16, 2013 #

        God made hemlock, too.

  21. Steven Verhulst
    December 28, 2012 #

    6.8% of what accidents? They don't blood test everyone who has an accident. They blood test you if they think you have been drinking. So 6.8% of people who had been drinking at the time of an accident had also smoked marijuana in the past 30 days. Which is probably the reason they had an accident? Alcohol or marijuana? Not marijuana! This is an insurance company blog and total bunk. They have no idea what they are talking about. If you people believe this crap I've got some swamp land in Florida I want to talk to you about. Total crap!

  22. Dean
    December 28, 2012 #

    It will make you a better driver, more alert, more attentive.

  23. Juan Lopez
    December 28, 2012 #

    so many flaws with this study already pointed out. people keep trying to "prove" that marijuana really is bad, now that the whole country is waking up. what they have been doing to people over the past half a century over marijuana is oppression, plain and simple. Marijuana is the safest, most natural drug we know of, even considering otc's like aspirin which cause liver problems, aneurysms, and etc. Alcohol kills so many people every year, but there are bars in every restaraunt. On the rare occasion someone has a wreck while stoned or with weed in their urine, it is assumed that the person was high while driving and that the accident happened due to weed. They never say whether the person was also drunk or high on meth or sleep deprived or in a psychotic/angry state, or any other number of factors. Been driving high for 10 years, and I have had 3 accidents all caused by sober people smashing into me because they were driving careless. Nothing every happened except they got a ticket. And yet, people will try to use bs studies like this to try defend the criminalization of people for possession of marijuana. Give it up big blue, people are tired of you and your bs. Your system is about to die.

  24. ru1
    December 29, 2012 #

    Well 52 yrs old and smoked weed since I was in the fifth grade. With good grades. And became a web press printer. Which prints newspaper with 40 units and get a load no accidents. The point is goverment su…

  25. Mara Mae
    December 29, 2012 #

    I've never in my 50 years known of anyone getting in an accident 'because' they were stoned. I do know several people on pain pills and other prescriptions that regularly get into accidents, a couple of them average 10-12 accidents a year and usually have their kids in the car. There is no testing for that and they are far more dangerous. They 'nod off' while driving… but that's ok I guess….

  26. Rob
    December 29, 2012 #

    As an advocate for Marijuana I would like to request that everyone here who is claiming how much they smoke and drive, please stop. I smoke. I think it should be legal. It causes accidents. You may be able to handle it, just like alot of people can handle drinking, but no matter what pro-pot or anti-pot funded 'scientific' studies say, it alters the mind. When we are driving we need to be in a clear state of mind. We are trying to make this legal. We are saying we should be able to smoke as 'responsible' adults. I beleive we should be able to smoke, but every time someone comes out demanding that they can smoke and drive with no problem you are only giving amunition to those that would like to keep this illegal. We are saying let us responsibly smoke. We must prove that we are responsible, or we will never get this on a federal level. We need to be responsible by not driving high, and if we refuse to, we really need to keep it to ourselves.

    • Juan
      January 3, 2013 #

      It does not alter the mind. Shrooms alter the mind. Marijuana raises your thc levels, in effect making you very happy and giddy. If you don't smoke alot and have low tolerance, then you will get very high, and probably shouldnt try to do anything let alone drive. People who smoke every day are not affected like this. It isn't like alcohol where you can still become incoherent by just drinking alot past your limit.

  27. nytola
    December 31, 2012 #

    Well, I love weed !! I love eating and smoking. I love sitting around a fire and smoking. I love watching my favorite funny movie while smoking. When I was a teenager I would smoke and drive and come to think of it – I was a horrible driver when I was high. I remember this one time where I looked down at my speedometer and I was going 20 ( in a 55.) Anyway my point is; enjoy life, experience life, go to Joshua tree and try mushrooms, go sky diving and do all the other crazy things you want. But don't do drugs and drive – its only our egos that tell us we are better drivers under the influence or our friends who want to justify their own decision to get in the car with you when your stoned ! They'll say things like " yeah john is crazy, its like the more beer he drinks the better driver he becomes " lol Anyway have an amazing new year – drunk, sober, high or tripping out, enjoy life while its here.

  28. andrew
    January 1, 2013 #

    That's why both accidents ive been in I've been sober an I almost always drive stone

  29. RD
    January 1, 2013 #

    Well, I've never smoked pot and don't think it should be legal (except for medicinal purposes). But, finally a voice of reason from the pro-pot crowd. While we can agree to disagree about using pot, at least you're sane enough to admit that smoking it and driving is a bad idea. THANK YOU.

  30. Hans Brickface
    January 2, 2013 #

    "6.8 percent of drivers who were involved in accidents — most of whom were under 35 — tested positive for THC"

    What about the drivers who actually CAUSED accidents?
    What about drivers who were in accidents and weren't tested?
    What about those who tested positive for THC, yet were not high at the time?
    Correlation is not causation. What if people who take THC just tend to be those who are also less experienced drivers?

    There is so much sloppy science nowadays and a lot of is biased due to the influence of government funding. It's simply not believable in my view.

    Also "pot is 2x more dangerous" may work for insurance purposes, but sadly real life is much more complicated with other factors like: distance driven, location of driving, time of day, traffic conditions, weather, emotional state, passengers, illness, and mechanical soundness to mention a few. Who is a bigger danger to the public, an angry teenager who drives high but only 1 mile per day or a judge with bad vision and the sniffles who drives 3 miles a day?

    Paraphrasing this article http://mises.org/daily/2343, the police should focus on violations of person and property, not scientific oddities like blood content. It is crazy to not know whether or not you are a criminal until after a tyrannical government performs its tests.

  31. Hemp Head
    January 2, 2013 #

    As I read through the many comments on this subject, and see how well all you long term term users are functioning, especially you Michael Daniels, I feel much better about pot in general, and the ability to operate a motorized vehicle while using. Beause I know I have driven druck, and I can proply operate a vehicle. I also agree that this is a wicht hunt and a misusess of power. The police have many suppies, which can keep some things from happeing, and impire their investigation. Noy Michael, this mite not be fare??

    Michael, I truly hope that you didn't get in a vehicle and drive after you posted the above comments? Children, it's good to know that after many years of using, Michael has such command of his thoughts, and can understand when to sop nad og???

  32. R Dawg
    January 2, 2013 #

    Tony, the PERSON that wrote this article wrote it, I think in part so that ignorant people like you might think about the consequences of driving high. She is in no way bashing or trying to give pot smokers a bad name, you're doing a fine job on your own by saying that you drive stoned. Face it! THC does have an affect on your mental state. Think about it……why do you smoke it in the first place? Cause you get HIGH! Be responsible and smoke all the pot you want and STAY home. Don't get behind the wheel! I don't wish anything bad on you but your habit may someday bite you in the ass and cause you to get into an accident and hurt someone or maybe even yourself. Why don't you try to talk to someone that was in an accident caused because they were high. Im sure they will tell you it isn't worth driving high. Pot affects different people differently, I know, I've tried it and I can't say I like it. It's not for me, but I know that in my "high" state, I was in no way capable of driving a car. Don't drive high. Have respect for people who are responsible….have respect for yourself.

  33. Steve Quinn
    January 2, 2013 #

    One of the effects of being "high", besides the munchies, is that a person's concentration is on one thing at a time. A pot smoker is so focused on one item that their reaction to another "event" is drastically slower. Being high and operating a motor vehicle is exactly the same as Russian Roulette.

  34. nailbiter
    January 3, 2013 #

    Everyone reacts differently to cannabis, and cannabis comes in varying strengths. Speaking from my experience, the study is correct: it slows one's reaction time and impairs judgment.

  35. James
    January 3, 2013 #

    Marijuana takes over one month to no longer come up as a positive in a drug test. So 6.8% of people in accidents smoked pot within the last 1-2 months. What does that prove? Maybe that 6.8 percent of drivers smoke weed in general?

  36. D G
    January 4, 2013 #

    This is such a joke! Whoever did this study is out of their minds! Anyone that thinks driving on pot has a better chance of getting into an accident is just plain stupid! I have been a pot smoker for more than 30 years. On and off again depending if I had to work which I do and never have to worry about drug testing. But I have not only driven a car most of that time, I also drive heavy machinery at work high everyday! I deliver parts to the area for production. What a joke. I have NEVER had an accident, not one time. Same thing with my car. So how do you account for that? It's NO accident! And it's like that for anyone well most anyone over 25, with a mortgage like me, a car like me, carry a gun permit like me. I pay my taxes every year. So put that study down and keep it in the UK where the people are stupid enough to fail at anything while on pot! Time to go burn one!

  37. Dick Chain Knee
    January 8, 2013 #

    Study is bogus. Its conclusions politically motivated.

    The facts:

    Note that urine tests do not detect the psychoactive component in marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), and therefore in no way measure impairment; rather, they detect the non-psychoactive marijuana metabolite THC-COOH, which can linger in the body for days and weeks with no impairing effects.

    Why not test for hamburgers? More than 6.8% of drivers in accidents will test positive for hamburgers. Should we ban hamburgers?

  38. Chanler
    January 10, 2013 #

    I've scoured the Internet and have yet to find a single traffic fatality linked SOLELY to marijuana. Not one. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are lots when marijuana & alcohol are BOTH present, but since there are plenty where only alcohol is involved, it seems a little far fetched to conclusively say the marijuana was a factor. They probably also had some food in their systems. Wonder if that was a factor?..And this article doesn't say if any of these people who had THC in their systems alone or if other substances present.

  39. fred
    January 10, 2013 #

    That's a bunch of bullcrap . Go back to the Uk ,48 more states to go weed nation. I rather smoke then drink behind the wheel . Where is the bud where is the bud ….

  40. tazman
    January 10, 2013 #

    Yes. Unequivocally.
    I have done both (I'm not proud, and I've paid consequences), driven drunk and driven stoned, and they both impair your vision and judgment while driving. Not recommended.
    That said, I do believe that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, and definitely not addictive in the same manner, and that if people can drink responsibly, they can smoke pot responsibly.
    Legalizing it and regulating it in similar fashion to alcohol (and taxing the heck out of it, and using it for plastics, clothing, paper, food, medicine, etc., etc.) makes so much sense, it's a no-brainer.

  41. Linda
    January 11, 2013 #

    Well DUH !! Of course it will impair you ability to drive. Actually I would much rather have a pot smoker than a drunk on the road as it does not impair your brain to the extent that alcohol will. A recent study showed that states that legalized maraijauna for medical use had about a 50% reduction in fatalities

    • Donna Casey
      February 9, 2013 #

      Of course it impairs your driving. So does Nyquil or any prescribed drug or not sleeping for several days or alcohol or anger.

      Most pot smokers don't want to drive when they smoke… as is often said, "I'll BUY, if YOU FLY!"

  42. Knotman1
    January 31, 2013 #

    sounds like a lot of denial to me. smokers say smokin's ok. drinkers say drinking's ok. etc. I've read all the posts and the best thing is the spelling errors. the rest is just opinion. IMHO. DON'T DO ANYTHING AND DRIVE AT THE SAME TIME! it's ok to kill your own stupid self, BUT, think about the van full of a family that's taken out by a person impared by drugs. (yes, alcohol is also a drug, DUH!)

  43. Sam
    January 31, 2013 #

    Seems pretty reasonable to me. Double the risk? Not good news, but not so bad. If I drive to the store, I probably won't crash. If I do it twice, well, pretty similar. Not horrible odds, but you can't tell me it doesn't affect you. Yeah, if there's one thing you can do, it's land a spaceship when you're stoned. Right.

    This isn't enough to freak out about, but yeah, it confirms what we know. It's really dumb to say that pot doesn't increase your chances of a crash. ANYTHING besides total sobriety, is not good for your driving. So drive sober. Don't be a dumbass.

  44. vaporland
    February 2, 2013 #

    you realize this is a corporate blog, right?

    • YourMom
      February 5, 2013 #

      People don't understand what media bias is. They *think* they understand the general concept, but also think that their own government is the 1 in all of human history that doesn't brainwash it's citizens. "Someone told me weed makes you retarded, so of course you shouldn't drive like that". Well, I guess since all their other lies about weed making you homicidal/suicidal/unable to reason got destroyed by facts, now they have to convince people that legalization would mean a bunch more (as if they're aren't lots already) stoned drivers out there. never mind all the people who legally drink at Ruby Tuesdays and then proceed to get in their car and drive home "because I've only had two beers". Nevermind the studies saying that 2 beers, sleep deprivation, and even post-meal tiredness can greatly increase the chances of a wreck happening. Yep, but those people don't have to go to jail or pay unconstitutional fines or anything until and unless they ACTUALLY hurt someone or damage something.

  45. John Michael griffin
    February 3, 2013 #

    Lady, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I'm really not trying to be a butt, but these statistics are very biased. The studies didn't show how many of the people that tested positive for THC also tested positive for alcohol. Another point that I might add, marijuana really does not change your reaction time nor change perception. You are just basing your "facts" off of somebody else's research. Don't believe everything you read and hear. Maybe you should do a little field study. I just typed this whole thing while being incredibly stoned on some high THC marijuana and everything seems pretty legible. You are a good writer and all, but don't put marijuana in a category with other controlled substances.

    • natalie
      February 7, 2013 #

      Wow. WOW.

      Stop smoking weed for a few months, smoke it again. And THEN come talk to us. You smoke too much or what you're using is CRAP. Your comment is ridiculous.

      TOLERANCE buddy. PUT THE PIPE DOWN and maybe you can remember what it feels like again to be a sober person that actually gets the "high" reaction from weed. Many many things can happen to people after smoking marijuna, DEFINITELY including change in reaction time and perception. Just because you have a tolerance doesn't mean the rest of the world does.

      No tolerance is TOTALLY known for a completely different view of weed that even used-to-be-stoners won't mess with.

      HELLO.

  46. Aly
    February 3, 2013 #

    I was a teenager in BC Canada in the 80's and smoked a fair amount of a weed we called "BC Bud". That was some powerful pot and let me tell you I drove on it once and swore never to drive impaired again (and haven't). If forced to choose I would drive drunk any day; high on weed I kept fixating on the speedometer and forgetting to look at the road.

    This is why I have a hard time understanding those who say they can drive just fine on it. Is weed weaker now than it was then? When I got high back then I got HIGH, absolutely wasted; there was no higher brain functioning going on at all! If we had legal weed (and I'm not an advocate fyi) we would at least know everyone was smoking the same thing and would know what kind of high they were on; as it stands there is a lot of variance between what you'll find in one joint (outdated word I'm sure!) to the next and there are often other drugs mixed in.

    The fact is, when you get behind the wheel, you should be free and clear of mind altering substances. Period. And don't tell me weed isn't mind altering – that's the whole point of smoking it!

  47. pat
    February 4, 2013 #

    three accidents in my life two before i was 18 and one later from driving drunk. none other than that. i never leave the house until i smoke weed.
    i also operate heavy machinery far better stoned.

  48. Lorain Ohio
    February 5, 2013 #

    The intersection of Route 113 and Lake Road. A grandmother and grandaughter are sitting at a light in front of the Coca Cola distribution center. A boy who has not been drinking or using any other drugs but weed hits them from behind at a high speed. The car that was hit from behind bursts into flames, and the folks in it both burn to death. That was enough to convince me.

  49. natalie
    February 7, 2013 #

    ok stoners. get over it. it's just weed. smoke it on your own time and stop trying to stand for something that's your own business and no one elses.

    most people are horrible drivers. drunk. stoned. sober. weed can definitely influence anyone to do a lot of stupid things, if their tolerance is low enough. there's no point in the every-day users trying to give their defense to this article.

    we all know there are some professional "weed makes me a better person!" people out there, (and there are the people that marijuana helps for actual medical reasons )… and we KNOW it has a fan club.

    It's weed. Smoke it and enjoy your life without having to prove any study wrong just to justify your choice of a daily substance. Just because you're at the point where you can smoke weed EVERYDAY and you feel "better" about yourself or life, doesn't mean there aren't still the other users that DON'T live the "high" life permastoned, that actually still get the multiple other reactions you USED to get when you first started. No one cares how much weed you smoke everyday! And obviously there are numerous reactions that could totally range to effecting how someone handles anything, let alone a moving vehicle.

    It's so funny to me how so many stoners will go on and on announcing how great they are with weed. AWESOME It's not like you're going to stop and figure out how great you are without it anyway!

    Jeez. Weed doesn't need a parade. Focus on your other favorites so you'll have at least enough of your memory left when you're old to look back on things and remember them You'll have nothing else to do at that point but smoke anyways.

    Lifes too short to escape yourself too much. <3

  50. Melvin Logan
    February 7, 2013 #

    This is a topic that many people have valid points about but some specifics have been left out. For 7 years I commuted home from work stoned without any accidents. I have had accidents when people either rear-ended me when I was waiting at a red light or they changed lanes too fast & misjudged their braking time. There are many variables to be considered. Were accidents caused by strains like Indica that cause drowsiness or Sativa that keeps one more awake. My personal experience is that I am more cautious and involved in my driving experience without being distracted. I am more relaxed than when I am strait. I have had an accident when my anxiety levels where elevated and I was straight.. Pot works for me. For others it may not apply since some of my friends are uncomfortable and paranoid on pot. It is the best pain reliever for me because I do not focus on the pain even though I may feel it . That gives me relief . I have had doctors say too bad you need to smoke a weed to get high. That shows a real lack of information since it is available as drops, food, and even a non-high form. Be careful about misinformation. If someone smokes it despite some over zealous comment by anti-marijuana groups comments they may think it is not as bad as they were led to believe. And think they were misled about more dangerous drugs and start experimenting.