New research suggest early, heavy marijuana users may have persistent driving impairment

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50

Thursday,
January
16,
2020


New
research
suggest
early,
heavy
marijuana
users
may
have
persistent
driving
impairment


This
new
CNN
article

covers
some
interesting
new
driving
research,
although
like
lots
of
media
this
CNN
piece

and
especially
its
headline
(“Weed
impairs
driving
skills
long
after
the
high
is
gone”)

obscures
some
nuances
of
the
research. 
 I
always
recommend
checking
out

the
original
research
,
which
here
appears
in
the
journal

Drug
and
Alcohol
Dependence

The
research
article
is
headlined “Recreational
cannabis
use
impairs
driving
performance
in
the
absence
of
acute
intoxication,”
and
here
is
its
abstract:

Background

Across
the
nation,
growing
numbers
of
individuals
are
exploring
the
use
of
cannabis
for
medical
or
recreational
purposes,
and
the
proportion
of
cannabis-positive
drivers
involved
in
fatal
crashes
increased
from
8
percent
in
2013
to
17
percent
in
2014,
raising
concerns
about
the
impact
of
cannabis
use
on
driving.
Previous
studies
have
demonstrated
that
cannabis
use
is
associated
with
impaired
driving
performance,
but
thus
far,
research
has
primarily
focused
on
the
effects
of acute intoxication.

Methods

The
current
study
assessed
the
potential
impact
of
cannabis
use
on
driving
performance
using
a
customized
driving
simulator
in non-intoxicated,
heavy,
recreational
cannabis
users
and
healthy
controls
(HCs)
without
a
history
of
cannabis
use.

Results

Overall,
cannabis
users
demonstrated
impaired
driving
relative
to
HC
participants
with
increased
accidents,
speed,
and
lateral
movement,
and
reduced
rule-following.
Interestingly,
however,
when
cannabis
users
were
divided
into
groups
based
on
age
of
onset
of
regular
cannabis
use,
significant
driving
impairment
was
detected
and
completely
localized
to
those
with
early
onset
(onset
before
age
16)
relative
to
the
late
onset
group
(onset
≥16
years
old).
Further,
covariate
analyses
suggest
that
impulsivity
had
a
significant
impact
on
performance
differences.

Conclusions

Chronic,
heavy,
recreational
cannabis
use
was
associated
with
worse
driving
performance
in
non-intoxicated
drivers,
and
earlier
onset
of
use
was
associated
with
greater
impairment.
These
results
may
be
related
to
other
factors
associated
with
early
exposure
such
as
increased
impulsivity.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2020/01/new-research-suggest-early-heavy-marijuana-users-may-have-persistent-driving-impairment.html


Recreational
Marijuana
Data
and
Research

|

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