Driving under the influence of marijuana is on the increase across the country. According to statistics, as the number of states that ease restrictions on the availability of marijuana increases, there has been an increase in the number of persons driving under the influence of pot.
According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorists found with marijuana in their systems grew by a staggering 50% since 2007. It has risen steadily since 2007, and reached a high of 12.6%, in 2014. Overall, close to a quarter of drivers tested positive for some kind of drug in their system that could impact their ability to drive safely. Those drugs included prescription painkillers, and marijuana as well as over-the-counter medications.
California allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and is one of several states across the country that makes it legal to sell marijuana for medicinal purposes. Colorado recently became one of the first states in the country to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.
As the number of states that ease restrictions on the availability of marijuana use increases, the federal administration notes that impaired driving involving stoned motorists is also on the increase. In fact, the NHTSA believes that the increase in the number of drugged drivers has also coincided with a drop in the number of persons driving under the influence of alcohol. Those numbers have declined by nearly 1/3rd since 2007.
A number of tests have shown that marijuana has the same kind of impairing effects on a person’s driving abilities as alcohol does. Avoid driving under the influence of any kind of drug, including marijuana. To avoid an accident, also avoid driving after using over-the-counter drugs, like cough and cold medications and certain types of prescription medications that greatly increase your risk of impaired driving.