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Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, And Alcohol Consumption


Timmahh
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http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

 

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and not those of IZA. Research published in

this series may include views on policy, but the institute itself takes no institutional policy positions.

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn is a local and virtual international research center

and a place of communication between science, politics and business. IZA is an independent nonprofit

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original and internationally competitive research in all fields of labor economics, (ii) development of

policy concepts, and (iii) dissemination of research results and concepts to the interested public.

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Some of the pointed bits of info from this study.

 

Laboratory studies have shown that cannabis use impairs driving-related functions such

as distance perception, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination (Kelly et al. 2004; Sewell et al.

2009). However, neither simulator nor driving-course studies provide consistent evidence that

these impairments to driving-related functions lead to an increased risk of collision (Kelly et al.

2004; Sewell et al. 2009). Drivers under the influence of marijuana reduce their velocity, avoid

risky maneuvers, and increase their “following distances,” suggesting compensatory behavior

(Kelly et al. 2004; Sewell et al. 2009). In addition, there appears to be an important learning-bydoing component to driving under the influence of marijuana: experienced users show

substantially less functional impairment than infrequent users (Sutton 1983)

 

 

Like marijuana, alcohol impairs driving-related functions such as reaction time and handeye coordination (Kelly et al. 2004; Sewell et al. 2009). Moreover, there is unequivocal

evidence from simulator and driving-course studies that alcohol consumption leads to an

increased risk of collision (Kelly et al. 2004; Sewell et al. 2009). Even at low doses, drivers

under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate the degree to which they are impaired

(MacDonald et al. 2008; Marczinski et al. 2008; Robbe and O’Hanlon 1993; Sewell et al. 2009),

drive at faster speeds, and take more risks (Burian et al. 2002; Ronen et al. 2008; Sewell et al.

2009). When used in conjunction with marijuana, alcohol appears to have an “additive or even

multiplicative” effect on driving-related functions (Sewell et al. 2009, p. 186), although there is

evidence that chronic marijuana users are less impaired by alcohol than infrequent users (Jones

and Stone 1970; Marks and MacAvoy 1989; Wright and Terry 2002).

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Good stuff Timmahh! I agree from personal experience with both alcohol and marijuana, that alcohol is way more impairing - like the quote said the more one drinks, the more one feels they are okay to drive, (and something the study didn't say but I think) also alcohol makes a person get more argumentative about how okay they are to drive & want to "Prove it".

 

I'd be happy to volunteer for a study on how well people drive on mj :D

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