Cannabis linked to higher road deaths

2012-02-10 07:31

Paris - Driving under the influence of cannabis almost doubles the risk of a serious accident, according to a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The risk of collision is substantially higher if the driver is aged under 35, it said.

The study seeks to filter out factors such as alcohol use that can skew inquiries into cannabis and road accidents.

It is an overview of nine previously-published papers which looked at more than 49 000 people.

These investigations were deemed to be of high quality because the driver had given a blood sample after the accident or admitted to smoking cannabis before to the event.

The nine studies also matched cannabis users against counterparts who did not take the drug to get an idea of the level of risk.

The overview by researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada's Nova Scotia, was unable to investigate a key question - how much of cannabis' active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is needed to impair driving or worsen the risk of a smash.

Cannabis may also be a risk factor for minor collisions, which were not part of the study's scope, the authors added.

  • Neil - 2012-02-10 07:45

    what a load of crap!

      Malcolm - 2012-02-10 17:44

      Kindly allow me to show the readers why your statement is quite correct: The often cited statistic that 6-8% of drivers in motor accidents test positive for marijuana is a case-book example of mistaken causality. A positive test merely indicates that the driver has used marijuana sometime in the past 90 days. Since roughly 7% of the population uses marijuana on a monthly basis, the 6-8% statistic, far from proving anything about the effects of marijuana, simply affirms what should be expected. Here is a graph which indicates that the presence of certain amounts of cannabis in your body actually appears to REDUCE the risk of being involved in an accident: Reference: * Fact: When combined 2002 to 2005 data are compared with combined 2006 to 2009 data, the Nation as a whole experienced a statistically significant reduction in the rate of past year drugged driving (from 4.8 to 4.3 percent), as did seven States: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Four of these seven States have legalized medicinal marijuana, Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan and California.

      Malcolm - 2012-02-10 17:46

      Neil, I couldn't have said it better myself! * Fact: California led the US to a nationwide, statistically significant reduction in the incidence of "drugged" driving during a time period when the number of patients claiming the protection of the California Compassionate Use Act and SB-420 increased by at least a factor of 10. * Fact: The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine document states that MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING: Google "MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY". You'll see two common findings: 1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired. 2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy. - Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-02-10 07:46

    Yet no mention is made of the primary cause of accidents, ie driving on the road. Another stupid 'study'.

  • rudilemmer - 2012-02-10 07:50

    If you are really stoned youre only driving 10kmph.(okay not that slow but still) more collisions? I dont know. More deaths? now way....

      Malcolm - 2012-02-10 17:51

      It's even better than that; most of us don't even want to drive when we're stoned, whereas a drunk will often fight anybody trying to stop him. NEW STUDY: On 29-Nov-2011, a study was published by University of Colorado Denver Professor Daniel Rees and Montana State University Assistant Professor D. Mark Anderson showing states that have legalized medical marijuana experience fewer fatal car crashes compared to states that have not. The researchers suggest that there may be fewer fatal drunk driving accidents in those jurisdictions because more people may be choosing to smoke marijuana instead of making the more dangerous choice of consuming alcohol - both traffic fatalities and alcohol consumption declined. The rate of fatal crashes in which a driver had consumed any alcohol dropped 12% after medical marijuana was legalized, and crashes involving high levels of alcohol consumption fell 14%. The study thoroughly accounted for other contributing factors regarding this decrease, such as changes in the number of miles traveled each year and new traffic laws. "Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults," - Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

      PhilipV - 2012-02-16 13:22

      I love to take a drive when blazed, normally the back roads that has no traffic, thus not putting anybody but myself in danger if I am actually putting myself in any danger part from being arrested. How many time have I driven from Fourways back home stoned? To be honest, 2-3 times a week, the only thing I noted is that it takes me 45min to get home tweaked, than the 20min when I haven't had a toke. But in general, I'd rather just sit and play XBox, take a swim, eat .... Or I smoke just as I get too the second last offramp, so I'm tweaked only when I actually walk in at home.

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-02-10 08:01

    Being tired also significantly increases likelyhood of collisions .They should also filter out prescription meds(like Zanax/ Alprazolam)which is another bucket of spanners. End of the day you shouldn't drive unless you alert and clear headed.

  • Peter - 2012-02-10 08:10

    They must have been given some SERIOUS hydro, coz normal Swazi is alright

  • Bumble - 2012-02-10 08:16

    And another report from Paris in an over reviewed peer review Study,showed that reading BS increases the chances of Teen pregnancy in men over 35..???

      Sattva - 2012-02-10 11:53

      heheheehe - good one !

  • Leon - 2012-02-10 08:17

    Why drink and drive,if you can smoke and Fly?

  • bella_donna - 2012-02-10 08:24


  • Preshen - 2012-02-10 08:39

    we just going green

      Sattva - 2012-02-10 11:54

      oh yebo yes

  • !r!3 - 2012-02-10 08:39

    When are these pathetic journalist going to post the truth about cannabis? It's 2012 now and its getting harder to pull the wool over our eyes. A friend of mine wrote 2 comments oh Helen Zille's facebook page about the use of HEMP(which can not get you high) and it was removed. Do these people not want to create jobs and natural products for us? I have seen the wonders of this plant with my own eyes to many different people, it has cured/helped with many people with cancer to. Im sorry DA but you have lost my vote in the future, educate yourself and stop letting us suffer. We have the ideal climate to grow hemp and its illegal to grow in most countries but its legal to import, is this country that blind not see the job creation and its an open market, plus we can build houses and many other things for the disadvantaged in South Africa at a VERY low cost

  • !r!3 - 2012-02-10 08:42

      Neil - 2012-02-10 09:42

      Thanks for the link :)

      !r!3 - 2012-02-10 09:48


  • Bob - 2012-02-10 09:51

    I really don't understand the current illegal status of cannabis. Yes its a drug, but so is alcohol. If its legalised, not only can we tax it (more income for the government), think of the business opportunities! I could make some extra cash on the side by getting a licence and growing a few plants in my garden!

  • Retardus - 2012-02-10 10:13

    If I'm reading this correctly, Smoking while driving is ok as long as you are over 35... Really, people get payed to study this. How did I end up in my job?

      Deon - 2012-02-10 14:41

      No it is still not on smoking pot and driving when you are over 35, they just have less accidents but still more than clear headed people.

  • Zion - 2012-02-10 12:13

    I have been saying this for a long time now and received the invectives of a nation. the very top comment is typical and a standard for the type of mentality that prevails where cannabis is concerned. Would a bunch of bogus investigations be done just to irk the South African NEWS 24 commenters? Or to just pull the leg of the international community.? Had those investigations been done by others in a more"scientific" method then the same reaction would be: "What a load of crap". Yes indeed that "load of crap" is found in these comments. To put it bluntly: no matter what tests, investigations, examinations and any other methods and criteria applied the answer will always referred to as "A load of crap". The only answer to this divergence is a bit of introspection on the part of the nay-sayer.

      Neil - 2012-02-10 14:18

      It must only be drug addicted dagga-heads that read this article based on your comment being the only one that supports this ' load of crap'. Have you taken the time to educate yourself on the subject. I have, for the last 15 years, which equals the time I have been using it. If you would like some educative material, I am all too happy to share... if I don't kill myself driving under the influence that is.

      !r!3 - 2012-02-10 14:48

      Zion are you a smoker or are u just plain stupid? READ THAT!!!!!!!!!! are u seriously that brainwashed by our governments and many others who use this propaganda to get their own way? Listen i dont care what you say cannabis cures cancer, i have seen it what it does(it wont cure all, but it does work) Now the day you know somebody who is suffering with cancer, are you just going to let them die? Look at the crime in this country because there no jobs and growing hemp, that you can not get high off at all(which is the male plant)NOW WHY WOULD THEY BAN SOMETHING YOU CAN NOT GET HIGH OFF???? If i grew that legilaly id supply most people with houses and jobs in this country, so please go educate yourself before you look even more stupid on here and if you dont educate yourself rather stay off this topic. Now you say all what cannabis users have to say is its alot of crap.... have u read what others have to say on here? stop listening to what the governments have to tell u! look at what scientist have to tell you and i can promise you its very different

      Zion - 2012-02-10 14:58

      I don't have to prove anything whatsoever. This article has done just that. But since it falls outside your learned views all must be wrong. Not to worry I have ample material at my disposal.DAGGA KILLS.

      jody.beggs - 2012-02-13 09:12

      @Zion really Dagga kills , what a joke ! Where do you get your information from , your mama? Dagga is a natural medicine much healthier than many prescription drugs, that you can grow in your garden , that's why the medical companies have put pressure on governments to control it. As-well as cotton growers because they know that is a direct competitor for the clothing market. Get your facts straight. Damn the man.

      Buzz - 2012-02-13 12:17

      @ Zion: It's strange that when we have in the past discussed studies into the positive aspects of dagga, you have refused to acknowledge them. But when a vaguely anti-dagga study comes along, you are all for it. Have previously asked you for links to your claimed "ample material", but am yet to see any. It's good and well to have an opinion, but that opinion counts for nothing when you actually don't know a thing about the subject. Please get off of your soapbox and go have another bells.

      PhilipV - 2012-02-16 13:30

      Zion, just stop trolling, yo have no idea what you are talking about. SATIVEX ... such a shame.

      PhilipV - 2012-02-16 14:19

      Oh before I forget, Zion has ample "material" eg. books that become outdated.

  • Deon - 2012-02-10 14:43

    This is a big enough study (ies) more than 49 000 people. Don't drink or smoke pot while driving.

  • Malcolm - 2012-02-10 16:17

    ADDITIONAL DATA: * Relative risk of vehicle collision whilst under the 'acute' influence of cannabis is 1.92 whilst the relative risk of a similar vehicle accident with a blood alcohol content of 0.8 g/100 mL (the legal limit in many places) is 2.69. * In a 60 km/h zone the risk of involvement in a vehicle accident with casualties increases exponentially (doubles) with each 5 km/h increase in traveling speed. * Talking on a Cell phone while driving Increases accident risk by a factor of 4. * Eating and drinking is a factor in more accidents than DUI, cell phone use or texting while driving. * The smokers of cigarettes - even if they do not smoke while driving - have an increased accident risk of 1.5 * Smoking cigarettes while driving Increases accident risk by a factor of 2. * Texting while driving Increases accident risk by a factor of 23. * A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than is a driver who has not consumed alcoholic beverages, and a driver with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater is about 25 times more likely. *** It is important to not that once marijuana is 'Legalized and Regulated', it will still be an offense to drive while impaired - DUI laws already apply to marijuana just like they do alcohol.

  • Jaco - 2012-02-11 21:59

    wow there's allot of potheads on this thread, seriously dont think about the numbers, get high get in a car and go race against someone then try again not so stoned. doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out your reflexes are slower when you are high.. ever looked at the way smokers move?

      jody.beggs - 2012-02-13 09:15

      Do you even live on this planet ! What r your friends smoking that they can't move properly tick , meth , crack or are they just dorks like u? You can't knock it , if you haven't tried it ? Damn the man.

      Buzz - 2012-02-13 12:30

      @ Jaco: I have.... they move like Jagger

  • Buzz - 2012-02-13 12:03

    I've always been in two minds about toking and driving. Personaly enjoy it, but would never promote it as I have met a few people who shouldn't be trusted with a roll of toilet paper when grilled.... let alone a car. Either way, people should not be imprisoned or get criminal records for using dagga!

      PhilipV - 2012-02-16 13:35

      I love to take a drive when blazed, normally the back roads that has no traffic, thus not putting anybody but myself in danger if I am actually putting myself in any danger part from being arrested. How many time have I driven from Fourways back home stoned? To be honest, 2-3 times a week, the only thing I noted is that it takes me 45min to get home tweaked, than the 20min when I haven't had a toke. But in general, I'd rather just sit and play XBox, take a swim, eat .... Or I smoke just as I get too the second last offramp, so I'm tweaked only when I actually walk in at home.

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