A lot of arguments have arisen concerning the positive and negative effects of marijuana on the body of its user.
While there is no denying that there are some negative effects of using the substance, it also has some positive effects. However, it is important to understand how marijuana affects our daily lives.
Here is a detailed explanation of how marijuana affects your driving skill:
What Marijuana Does To You
1. Slows Your Reaction Time
Smoking weed before driving slows your reaction time. The substance in pot responsible for slowing your reaction time is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When it gets to the brain, the substance temporarily impairs your internal clock.
THC binds with the network in the brain responsible for your internal clock, making it speed up. And when your internal clock speeds up, you feel like the world around you is slowing down.
Also, another cause of slow reaction time is the effect of THC in the blood that goes to the cerebellum in the brain. It is this part that is responsible for the coordination of your reaction time.
When you’re driving on the road, you need to make a lot of decisions in split seconds and execute the decisions as soon as you make them. And having your reaction time impaired by THC is not what you want. It could lead you to make costly errors.
2. It Impairs Your Coordination and Distorts Your Perception
Smoking weed affects the way your brain perceives things. When you smoke weed, THC encourages the parts of your brain responsible for instinctive functions; the parts that are responsible for survival. Conversely, the parts of the brain in charge of active thinking take a break.
So, when you drive after getting high on weed, the parts of your brain that should help you make some active decisions and process information is not as active as they should be. This makes it easier for you to make the wrong decisions.
Also, sensory perceptions take a hit when you take marijuana. Your sensory organs are sharpened to the extent that it becomes easier for the slightest intrusion to distract you.
3. It May Lead To Temporary Memory Loss and Difficulty In Solving Problems
Your memory is also a part of your brain that takes a hit when you are stoned. THC affects the normal workings of your episodic memories negatively.
In addition, getting high on cannabis could make your mind cook up memories you never had. A recent study confirms this. Of course, these effects are often temporary.
Unfortunately, that short time is more than enough to cause you to make a costly error while driving.
4. Combining Marijuana With Other Substances Makes Everything Worse
Marijuana already has some mind distorting effects on the users. Substances and intoxicants like alcohol have their one side effects on the mind too.
Now, when you combine getting stoned with being intoxicated, you are increasingly downing your mind temporarily. You are practically a disaster waiting to happen on the road.
Marijuana And The Risk Of Car Crashes
Despite these negative effects of marijuana on its users, it is still hard to predict with laser accuracy how many car crashes marijuana was responsible for. It is almost impossible to state the level of risk one is exposing themselves to when they smoke and drive. These are some of the reasons for this:
1. Accurate Roadside Tests Don’t Exist
Unlike alcohol where an officer can carry out a roadside test to check for traces of alcohol in your body, it is not that easy to do the same for marijuana.
There is no way to be able to tell with precision how much cannabis one has in their system. And for this reason, it is quite hard to impose or enforce no-cannabis-before-driving laws like the way it is for drinking and driving.
And when there is no way to scientifically test the level of marijuana in the body, it is hard to attribute car crashes to solely marijuana usage.
2. Marijuana Can Remain in Your Body For Long
Some studies have discovered that marijuana can remain in the body of the user for as long as a week after their last use.
What this means is that you could get high on Monday and still have traces of cannabis in your body on Friday, even though your mind is already performing at its normal level.
So, if tests show that a victim of a car crash had marijuana in their body, there is no way to tell that they took the weed right before driving based on this evidence.
3. Officers Don’t Often Test for Drug Use Especially after Alcohol Test Comes Positive
It is very uncommon for drug tests to be carried out on the roadsides. The first thing that police officers test for is the booze content in your body.
And if the result comes out positive, they already have more than enough reason to convict you for drinking and driving.
And when there were many substances in the body of a car crash victim, determining which one was responsible for the crash is hard.
Despite these shortcomings in the determination of the drug content in the body, there is no disputing the fact that using marijuana before or during driving increases the chances of road crashes. The effects of weed in the bodies of the users can’t be denied.
Laws Surrounding The Use Of Marijuana Before Driving
There are a lot of laws surrounding the use of marijuana before and during driving. Usually, these laws vary from state to state. Some states still have a complete ban on the use of marijuana.
They don’t even allow it for medicinal purposes. Some states, on the other hand, allow the use of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
However, it is important to check with your local law officials on the laws pertaining to smoking and driving in your jurisdiction.
We do not advise that you smoke weed before driving, even if you feel you are capable of driving in that condition. Being safe is better than being sorry.
If you’re a student in college, you should steer clear of marijuana while you cover all your priority expenses. Moreover, Weed has its cost – Did you know that you can get a hell of a college car deal for that very money you saved?