New York: Researchers have found that marijuana use may have an impact on driving ability even 12 hours after use. The study found that in addition to chronic, heavy, recreational cannabis use being associated with poorer driving performance in non-intoxicated individuals compared to non-users.
While several studies have examined the direct effect of cannabis intoxication on driving, no other studies until now have examined the effects on driving in heavy marijuana users who are not high. “People who use cannabis don’t necessarily assume that they may drive differently, even when they’re not high,” said study researcher Staci Gruber from McLean Hospital in the US.
For the findings, the research team used a customised driving simulator to assess the potential impact of cannabis use on driving performance. At the time of study, marijuana users had not used for at least 12 hours and were not intoxicated.
Overall, heavy marijuana users demonstrated poorer driving performance as compared to non-users. For example, in the simulated driving exercise, marijuana users hit more pedestrians, exceeded the speed limit more often, made fewer stops at red lights, and made more center line crossings.