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Marijuana and motorists

Marijuana use is growing in popularity all across the nation as it gains more attention for its ability to help people control health issues and as states are beginning to legalize the recreational use of it. However, just as people often drink and drive, the possibility that more people will drive while under the influence of marijuana has raised concern. Therefore, Hillsborough motorists should be aware of its effects on their driving behavior and how it affects other drivers.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use is a leading cause of drugged driving, while alcohol consumption is the primary leading cause. Additionally, motorists suffered from more driving impairment issues when cannabis was used in addition to alcohol. Drivers who used marijuana had reduced motor skill coordination, slower reaction times, impaired judgment capabilities and were unable to remain attentive to the road. One study found that 36.9 percent of motorists who use marijuana were involved in fatal accidents.

CBS News states that young men are more likely to be involved in car accidents and to engage in marijuana use while driving. In 2014, the percentage of intoxicated motorists who were under the influence of cannabis was 12.6, which is almost a 50 percent increase from 2007 when the percentage was 8.6.

The effects of driving while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs are well publicized. However, because the effects of marijuana tend to wear off approximately three hours after use, crash statistics are not readily available on marijuana impaired motorists.

Driving under the influence of any drug can alter normal driving behavior. Therefore, motorists who intend to use marijuana should be aware of the risks they pose to other motorists and themselves.

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
3302 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-302-1265
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