Driving tests likely to miss medical pot

Driving tests likely to miss medical pot

NEW YORK- Reuters
A new, small study suggests medicinal marijuana may impair users’ driving skills - but might be missed by typical sobriety tests.

At doses used in AIDS, cancer and pain patients, people weaved side to side more and had a slower reaction time in the hours after using the drug, researchers from the Netherlands found.

For people who hadn’t built up a tolerance to marijuana, those effects were similar to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08, the point at which drivers are considered legally impaired, they said.

“At this time, we know very little about the possible effects that medical marijuana may have on, say, motor vehicle crash rates, injury rates and mortality rates,” said Dr. Guohua Li, who has studied marijuana and traffic accidents at Columbia University in New York but wasn’t involved in the new research.

“There is a concern medical marijuana may interact with other drugs such as alcohol that may further compromise driving safety,” he added. The new study involved 12 frequent marijuana users and 12 occasional (three times a month at most) smokers.