Many medical marijuana users say they’ve driven high

January 14th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »

More than half of people who take medical cannabis for chronic pain say they’ve driven under the influence within two hours of using it at least once in the last six months.

One in five of them said they’d driven while “very high” in the past six months, researchers report.

The results of the survey of 790 Michigan medical cannabis users are troubling, says Erin E. Bonar, assistant professor of psychiatry and a practicing clinical psychologist at University of Michigan Addiction Treatment Services and lead author of the paper, which appears in Drug Alcohol Dependence.

Don’t drive

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have state approval to use medical marijuana, including nearly 270,000 in the state of Michigan, according to Statista, as of May 2018. Michigan is second only to California for the highest number of medical marijuana patients in a state.

Bonar says that when people drive under the influence of marijuana their reaction time and coordination may slow down and they could have a harder time reacting to the unexpected. If they are in a risky situation, they could be more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash, because they wouldn’t be able to respond as quickly.

Researchers surveyed Michigan adults seeking medical cannabis recertification or a new certification for chronic pain in 2014 and 2015. The researchers asked about respondents’ driving habits for the past six months.

Fifty-six percent of participants reported driving within two hours of using cannabis, 51 percent reported they drove while a “little high,” and 21

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