Let’s be blunt: Cannabis & driving don’t mix

September 4, 2018 | Alex Pedersen

The legalization of cannabis comes into effect in less than 50 days. Here at CAA Niagara, we want you to be safe on the road. Yes, we know this is not a “new” issue and people have been driving high for years, but now that it’s becoming legal, it’s our job to reinforce the message, don’t drive high.  

CAA-Niagara_REACT-cannabis

Whatever you want to call it, weed, pot, ganja, herb, reefer, Mary Jane, bud, dank, it doesn’t mix with driving. Whether you smoke, vape or eat the stuff, its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), travels through your body and into your brain, acting on areas that control pleasure, memory, concentration, motor control, coordination and sensory perception. You may experience slightly different effects from different forms of cannabis – dried leaf versus oil, for instance – when it comes to driving, none of that matters: impairment is impairment.

Millennials have embraced the “don’t drink and drive” message, but there’s one myth we need to debunk:   

1 in 5 Canadians think that a driver under the influence of cannabis is the same or better

To address this myth, CAA Niagara is sponsoring a vibrant street marketing campaign being executed by REACT, Niagara Region Public Health’s youth lead advocacy group. The goal of the campaign is to educate the public on the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis. The REACT campaign employs a series of creative highway signs that play off cannabis jargon, like Highway “420” being closed.  The REACT squad will be handing out key chains, safe ride home information and CAA don’t drive high decals.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“We created a campaign that was fun and interactive to attract youth to our booth and start the conversation. We wanted to keep things fun and focus more on the safety aspect which is why we provided multiple taxi services to avoid driving high, because at the end of the day, driving high is 100% preventable.”  

“As teenagers, it is common for people to drive high. We often hear things such as “It helps me focus” and “It speeds up my reaction time” which is false and inaccurate. Being aware that this is already an issue, we decided to take action as REACT to help educate young people, before cannabis legalization. We aim to help youth understand the consequences and side effects of driving high.”

If you see REACT out in the community, stop by to say hi and learn more about why cannabis and driving don’t mix.

For more information on cannabis and driving, visit caaniagara.ca/cannabis

Follow REACT on Instagram: @REACTniagara

Tags: cannabis

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