Doesn’t marijuana cause a lot of automobile accidents?

Not really. The marijuana using public has the same or lower rate of automobile accidents as the general public. Studies of marijuana smoking while driving showed that it does affect reaction time, but not nearly as much as alcohol. Also, those who drive `stoned’ have been shown to be less foolish on the road (they demonstrate `increased risk aversion’.) Recent studies have emphasized that alcohol is the major problem on our highways, and that illicit drugs do not even come close to being as dangerous.

As funny as it may seem, you may be safer driving `stoned’, as long as you aren’t `totally blasted’ and seeing things — but few users are irresponsible enough to drive in this state of mind, anyway. Still, many people have reported making mistakes while driving because they were stoned.

There are those who think that marijuana is a major problem on the streets, because of a newspaper article or news story which they have seen which said a large number of people who were killed in driving accidents tested postive for marijuana use. For various reasons, these studies are not reliable:

  • Some studies use drug tests which can only tell whether a person has used marijuana in the last month.
  • Some studies were done near colleges or other areas where drinking, marijuana use, and accidents are all very high, and they did not correct for age or alcohol use.
  • In many of the studies there were more stoned drivers killed — but it was not their fault, and when the police “culpability scores” were factored in marijuana was not to blame for the accidents.

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