As we’re all aware by now, the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis has sparked debate over a variety of health and safety concerns. Over a year later, this discussion is even more important as edibles are now legally available for purchase and consumption.
The effects by the numbers
With businesses and communities re-opening, social outings are becoming more common. This has led to an increased number of vehicles on the road. A 2019 study conducted by Dig Insights found that 1.2 million of Ontarians admit to having driven after consuming cannabis. Of that group, 27% admitted to feeling very or somewhat high while driving – a concern for all drivers on the road.
Despite being small in size, edibles can pack a powerful punch. Research indicates that eating rather than smoking your cannabis tends to possess a higher potency, causing your euphoria to last longer. Contrary to common misconceptions, you are not a better or safer driver while high. As a matter of fact, you instantly become a hazard on the road if you’re driving under the influence.
Although symptoms vary from person to person, consuming cannabis can severely impair your balance and coordination, motor skills, attention, judgment, reaction time and decision-making skills. Not only does this affect your ability to drive, it also puts yourself and those around in danger. Regardless of the evidence, 23% of cannabis users think that it has no negative effect on their driving.
Youth and the law
One demographic that is significantly impacted by this is young people. Their bodies are developing at incredible rates and the use of cannabis can hinder that process. Not only are they going through changes as they grow up, they also go through the trials and tribulations of peer pressure.
Younger drivers typically have a higher risk of collision as they are just learning the rules of the road and getting a feel for their vehicle. Unfortunately, mixing in marijuana might be something their friends try to persuade them into doing. It’s best to educate the youth on this subject as early as possible so they can avoid severe consequences.
While safety should be your main concern, your reputation is also something to consider. If you’ve ingested cannabis, make sure you’ve found a safe way home, as it is a criminal offence to have 2ng to 5ng of THC per ml of blood within two hours of driving.
Should you get caught driving under the influence, you could get arrested and face trial, have your license suspended and carry a criminal record. That just isn’t worth it.
At the end of the day, the message is simple – don’t drive high. If you find yourself in need of a lift, pull out your CAA Membership and give us a call! The CAA Drive You Home Program will get you and your car back in one piece. Alternatively, you can catch a lift home from Zoom Ride Niagara and save 10% for being a Member.