With the passing of California Prop. 64, which makes recreational marijuana use legal, I know I keep hearing ads on the radio about being more cautious on the roads. As an accident attorney in Orange County, we have yet to see the statistics of car accidents due to recreational marijuana use increase. That does not mean, however, that it is not dangerous to drive while stoned. Because as any car accident lawyer can tell you, driving high is still driving while impaired. And serious injuries can be sustained in accidents with an impaired driver.
We are going to briefly go over California Prop. 64 as well as some of the dangers of driving stoned.
California Prop. 64
In 2017 voters in California voted to pass Prop. 64 which makes the recreational use of marijuana legal. Residents over the age of 21 are can legally use marijuana without a medicinal card. As long as it is not in a public place. Californian’s are also allowed to carry and use up to an once of marijuana and grow up to six plants from personal use.
However, there is one interesting note in the law. Though it is legal to use, it is not yet legal to buy it unless you have a medical marijuana card.
Car Accident Lawyer | Is it Dangerous to Drive Stoned?
In a recent study that our accident attorney found, it shows that most people believe that driving while stoned is not that dangerous. According to said study, about 70% of those polled said that people who “drive while impaired by marijuana are not much of a problem or are only a somewhat serious problem.” In contrast, people believe that those who drive under the influence of alcohol are much more dangerous.
While it is no secret that marijuana does impair certain abilities, there is not much research and data that prove that it increases accidents. What is interesting to note is, if people who would ordinarily drink and drive choose to smoke and drive, that may be safer for the overall population.
Marijuana and Driving Impairments
As a car accident lawyer, it is much safer to drive when you are NOT under the influence of any substance. Though driving while stoned may not be nearly as dangerous as driving while drunk, the impairment can greatly affect your ability to react.
Cognitive impairments due to marijuana use are correlated with very few traffic accidents. Therefore, it is hard to measure how many accidents have been are due driving under the influence of marijuana. This is because of the following reasons:
- Roadside tests for drug levels do not currently exist;
- Police don’t usually test for drugs if they find the driver’s blood alcohol level is over the legal limit;
- It is common for at-fault driver’s that are found to have alcohol to also have one or more drug found in their system.
- This makes it difficult to know which substance has a greater effect.
Some sources speculate that as the use of marijuana increases in legal states, the use of alcohol decreases. However, those who are habitual port smokers can tolerate moderate doses of THC without it affecting their driving ability.
Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Accident Attorney!
Though it is not completely harmless to drive while high, there are some consequences to doing so. We always suggest that you use you best judgment when on the road. So as to not hurt yourself or any of those around you.
If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, you have rights. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.