Marijuana, also known as weed, pot, grass, bud, Mary Jane, and many other slang terms is the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana can be consumed in many different ways and many different forms. The main psychoactive chemical that is responsible for producing a high is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Driving While High on Marijuana
Since driving is such a common activity that most people do, it is easy to forget how alert you must stay to remain safe. It may seem to you that your body just goes into an auto mode when you are driving, accelerating, braking, or changing lanes, but in reality, your brain is working in high gear. Drugs like marijuana interfere with your brain’s ability to function properly. The main ingredient in marijuana, THC affects the areas of the brain that control a person’s coordination, body movements, balance, memory, and judgment. This makes driving while high in marijuana dangerous because you need those abilities to drive safely.
Does THC Impair Your Driving Skills?
Driving while impaired is dangerous because it will negatively affect several different skills that you need to drive safely. Marijuana slows down your reaction time and your ability to make decisions quickly, which you need to stay safe on the road. For example, if someone driving in front of you were to suddenly brake, your chances of stopping in time while high on marijuana are lowered because it slows your reaction time and results in a car accident. Marijuana use also impairs coordination and distorts perception. This can be dangerous not only for you but for others on the road around you as well. According to the National Institutes of Health:
Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones. Those involved in vehicle crashes with THC in their blood, particularly higher levels, are three to seven times more likely to be responsible for the incident than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol.
The sad truth is that most people think driving while high on marijuana is not that serious when in actuality it is. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also illegal, just like driving under the influence of alcohol. It is a crime no matter what state you are in, even if marijuana use is lawful in your state. You can still be convicted of a marijuana-related DUI.
Even if you have marijuana on you or in your car, proof that marijuana has affected your ability to drive is enough for a conviction in some states. The consequences in each state may differ, but they can include license suspension, fines ranging from $500-$2000, time in jail, mandatory substance abuse treatment, or a term of probation.
There Are Consequences to Driving While High
Don’t put yourself in a situation that can harm you or someone else. Marijuana is still a dangerous drug, even if it is legal in some states. Alcohol is legal and still kills thousands of people each year. Despite many people believing that marijuana is safe to use while driving, this is far from the truth and is an addictive substance.
Marijuana may not be as life-threatening physically as addiction to other substances, but it certainly has just as strong of a hold on a person as other substances, and getting sober from it can be just as difficult. If you feel you need help getting sober and staying sober from marijuana, our treatment specialists are standing by to help you here at Garden State Treatment Center.