Marijuana users often say that using marijuana doesn’t affect their ability to drive. Now, the federal government is beginning to agree because of a 20-month study conducted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The study showed that marijuana caused a minimal increase in the risk of causing a car accident, according to Car and Driver. Researchers worked around the clock comparing alcohol and drug data from those involved in accidents. Regardless of what combination of demographics were used, the NHTSA found there was no “significant increased risk of crash involvement” due to marijuana consumption.
The NHTSA has fully admitted to some facts regarding THC and operating a motor vehicle. The NHTSA does agree that just because THC may show in blood tests, it does not mean that the driver is actually under the influence when the sample was taken. The agency also agrees that metabolism, tolerance and varying marijuana-related effects also make it difficult to analyze this type of study.
For the study, 2,682 auto accident cases were investigated, including 15 fatalities. Accidents with persons testing positive for THC were less severe than those where prescriptions, hard drugs, and alcohol were indicated.