Globally, marijuana is consumed by many people, especially now that it is legal in many countries and states for medical (and even recreational) use. Well, it so happens that a good number of drivers also smoke weed, or consume it in other forms and products such as weed cookies, biscuits or weed tea. Second to alcohol, marijuana is the most used substance by drivers.
And now more than ever, with the legalization of weed, its accessibility, and affordable prices, the rate at which it is being consumed is ideally on the rise. Despite the fact that most people argue that they drive better when high on weed, you can’t hide the fact that different people respond differently to different stimulants and weed is no exception. This means that to some people, driving under the influence of cannabis can put them or others at a significant amount of risk. Also, your concentration and focus on the road may depend on just how much of the substance you’ve taken. For these and more reasons, here are some pointers on how to be a responsible stoner driver.
Know your limits and the legal limit
If you have to stone and drive, it’s always advisable to take control of yourself and avoid going beyond what your body cannot handle. It’s good to understand that driving is sensitive and all it takes is a single mistake for things to go wrong. And let’s face it… with most narcotics, your body may develop some level of tolerance with time, even though some drugs are more addictive than others. In this case, those who’ve been consuming weed for a considerable duration of time may need to take more to achieve their desired high, which is not advisable for a driver.
Also, the driving laws in different states and countries have certain defined limits for marijuana and other drugs and drug-impaired driving could land you in jail. In some states such as Colorado, for instance, you can be prosecuted for driving under the influence if, during a test, you are found to have five nanograms of active THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in your whole blood after a test.
As a matter of fact, the law also applies to medical marijuana, which is more accepted in many places compared to recreational marijuana. While medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since the early 2000s and recreational usage recently legalized as well, Justin Kimball from Preszler Law Firm of Halifax says that changes to impaired-driving laws have yet to catch up. This makes it important to stick to acceptable levels if indeed you have to stone and drive.
Avoid the substance when you can
Being responsible also entails knowing when not to consume the substance. Especially if you have a long journey ahead of you, it’s best to avoid consuming any weed at all as it might affect your concentration on the road. In most cases, a driver who is high on alcohol tends to drive aggressively and at a very high speed. For weed consumers, however, they tend to drive slower. All the same, a stoner driver could easily miss a lane or divert to another lane, possibly causing confusion on the road.
In all essence, we can’t just rule out the fact that the driving ability of a driver can be impaired by marijuana. Concentration on the road is a priority and even though some claim that marijuana helps improve their attention span and focus, there is also a possibility that your level of alertness could be reduced after stoning. In other words, the effects of weed on the CNS may vary from one person to the other… or was this mentioned earlier? If at some point you’ve experienced a reduction in alertness and concentration, it is imperative to consider avoiding weed, at least until you’re done with the road for the day, or better yet, take weed only when your road schedule is free.
Make the decision not to drive when high
It is highly likely that you are familiar with the slogan: “don’t drink and drive”. This also applies to stoners who happen to be drivers. If at all you know for sure that you are likely to stone more than necessary, then it’s wise that you plan to not drive. Driving under the influence is a huge offense and the legal consequences could be higher than you think. To be on the safe side, it’s better to drive when sober and rest when high.
Driving while high on weed may be fun, but it’s only worth it if you’re a responsible stoner driver. In all honest intuition, you just have to know yourself, know what weed does to you, know how your body responds to it, and stick to your limits. If you can, it’s best to avoid stoning before or while you drive. All the same, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quit using marijuana just because you’re a driver. It’s mostly about responsibility here.