Comment: Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers Than Non-Marijuana Users

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Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers Than Non-Marijuana Users

Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers Than Non-Marijuana Users, New Study Shows (2012)
http://www.dailypaul.com/264645/marijuana-users-are-safer-dr...

tons of studies have shown this for a long time now
http://www.dailypaul.com/comment/2848651

U. Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not a Hazard! (3/1999)
http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread986.shtml

Cannabis May Make You a Safer Driver (8/2000)
http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread6717.shtml

Australia: Cannabis Crash Risk Less: Study (1998)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n945/a08.html

Australia: Study Goes to Pot (1998)
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98/n947/a06.html

1994 Dutch Study On "Marijuana Use And Driving" In Real World Conditions
http://www.marijuananews.com/marijuananews/cowan/1994_dutch_...

DOT HS 808 078 "Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance" Final Report, Nov. 1993 Conclusions on page 108 of the copy I received from the NHTSA are interesting and informative. A sample : "It is possible to safely study the effects of marijuana on driving on highways or city streets in the presence of other traffic." "Drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to over-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving ability and compensate when they can; e.g. by increasing effort to accomplish the task, increasing headway or slowing down, or a combination of these."
DOT HS 808 939 "Marijuana, Alcohol and Actual Driving Performance" July 1999 Conclusion on page 39 midway of paragraph 5.1 of the copy I received: The addition of the new data, (for marijuana), broadens the range of reactions that may be expected to occur in real life. This range has not been shown to extend into the area that can rightfully be regarded as dangerous or an obviously unacceptable threat to public safety. DOT HS 809 020 "Visual Search and Urban City Driving under the Influence of Marijuana and Alcohol" March 2000: Conclusion 1 on page 24 of the copy I received. "Low doses of marijuana taken alone, did not impair city driving performance and did not diminish visual search frequency for traffic at intersections in this study."
General Discussion on page 22 . Previous on-the-road studies have also demonstrated that subjects are generally aware of the impairing properties of THC and try to compensate for the drug's impairing properties by driving more carefully (Hansteen et al, 1976; Casswell, 1979; Peck et al, 1986; Robbe 1994).
DOT HS 809 642 "State of Knowledge of Drug Impaired Driving" Sept 2003: Experimental Research of Cannabis, page 41 midway: "The extensive studies by Robbe and O'Hanlon (1993), revealed that under the influence of Marijuana, drivers are aware of their impairment, and when experimental tasks allow it, they tend to actually decrease speed, avoid passing other cars, and reduce other risk-taking behaviors."
DOT HS 808 065 "The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers" Oct. 1992 In discussing the "Distribution of Ratings on Driver Responsibility" Table 5.12 page 64 of the copy I received, paragraph (p.65); "Responsibility, drugs and alcohol, third paragraph, "the following appears: "Note that the responsibility rates of the THC-only and Cocaine-only groups are actually lower than that of the drugfree drivers. Although these results too are inconclusive, they give no suggestion of impairment in the two groups. The low responsibility rate for THC was reminiscent of that found in young males by Williams and colleagues (1986).” This study is remarkable in it's propensity to attack itself as inconclusive.
Forensic Science Review Vol. 14, Number One/Two, Jan 2002, surely must be the reference of note regarding metabolic functions and where the THC goes following ingestion. This review discuses THC and it's metabolites; THCCOOH, 11-OH-THC to mention the most discussed. Location and type of measured quantities of these and other metabolites should be easy to use to determine if a driver is "stoned" or was stoned yesterday, or last week. Mention was made of a man who had measurable levels of metabolites sixty-seven days after ingesting Cannabis.
Chap IX paragraph D, "Summary" appears to be of two minds. While stating: "Studies examining Cannabis' causal effect through responsibility analysis have more frequently indicated that THC alone did not increase accident risk …" it continues optimistically suggesting that further exhaustive research may rebut that. All of the studies agree that combining Cannabis with any other drug, such as Alcohol ... a major deleterious effect on driving skills, as is benzoates with Cannabis … it rapidly becomes evident that Cannabis in combination with any number of other drugs is not to be desired, but that Cannabis and Cocaine alone in all six studies have the smallest perceived safety risk of all the drugs and drug combinations tested and against drug-free drivers.

Results
The study showed that a modest dose of alcohol (BAC = 0.034 g%) produced a significant impairment in city driving, as measured by the molar approach, relative to a placebo. More specifically, alcohol impaired both vehicle handling and traffic maneuvers. Marijuana, administered in a dose of 100ʵg/kg THC, on the other hand, did not significantly change mean driving performance as measured by this approach. Neither alcohol nor marijuana significantly affected driving performance measures obtained by the molecular approach, indicating that it may be relatively insensitive to drug-induced changes. Driving quality, as rated by the subjects, contrasted with observer ratings.
Alcohol impaired driving performance according to the driving instructor, but subjects did not perceive it; marijuana did not impair driving performance, but the subjects themse lves perceived their driving performance as such. Both groups reported about the same amount of effort in accomplishing the driving test following a placebo. Yet only subjects in the marijuana group reported significantly higher levels of invested effort following the active drug. Thus there is evidence that subjects in the marijuana group were not only aware of their intoxicated condition, but were also attempting to compensate for it. These seem to be important findings. They support both the common bel ief that drivers become overconfident after drinking alcohol and investigators' suspicions that they become more cautious and self-critical after consuming low doses of THC, as smoked marijuana.
Yet THC's effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former's users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence.
References
Borkenstein R.F., R.F. Crowther, R.P. Schumate, W.B. Ziel and R. Zylman , 1974. The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents (The Grand Rapids Study). Blutalkohol 11(Suppl 1): 1-131.
Chesher G.B. and G.A. Starmer, 1983. Cannabis and Human Performance Skills. Drug and Alcohol Authority Research, Grant Report Series, Sydney.
Cimbura G., D.M. Lucas, R.C. Bennett and A.C. Donelson, 1990. Incidence and toxicological aspects of cannabis and ethanol detected in 1394 fatally injured drivers and pedestrians in Ontario (1982-1984). Journal of Forensic Sciences 35: 1035-104 1. Daldrup T., G. Reudenbach and K. Kimm, 1987. Cannabis und Alkohol im Strassenverkehr. Blutalkohol 24: 144-156.
Donelson A.C., G. Cimbura, R.C. Bennett and D.M. Lucas, 1985. The Ontario monitoring project: Cannabis and alcohol use among drivers and pedestrians fatally injured in motor vehicle accidents from March 1982 through July 1984. Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada, Ottawa.
Johnston L.D., P.M. O'Malley and J.G. Bachman, 1992. Smoking, Drinking, and Illicit Drug Use among American Secondary School Students, College Students, and Young Adults, 1975-1991. Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Michigan.
Klonoff H., 1974. Marijuana and driving in real-life situations. Science 186: 317-323.
Louwerens J.W., A.B.M. Gloerich, G. de Vries, K.A. Brookhuis and J.F. O'Hanlon, 1985. De Invloed van Verschillende Bloedalcoholspiegels op Objectief Meetbare Aspekten van Feitelijk Rijgedrag. Technical Report No. VK 85-03, Traffic Research Centre, Uni versity of Groningen, Groningen.
Louwerens J.W., A.B.M. Gloerich, G. de Vries, K.A. Brookhuis and J.F. O'Hanlon, 1987. The relationship between drivers' blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and actual driving performance during high speed travel. Pages 183-192 in P.C. Noordzij an d R. Roszbach, eds., Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam.
Mason A.P. A.J. and McBay, 1984. Ethanol, Marijuana, and other drug use in 600 drivers killed in single-vehicle crashes in North Carolina, 1978-1981. Journal of Forensic Sciences 29: 987-1026.
McLean S., R.S. Parsons, R.B. Chesterman, R. Dineen, M.G. Johnson and N.W. Davies, 1987. Drugs, alcohol and road accidents in Tasmania. The Medical Journal of Australia 147: 6-11.
Moskowitz H., 1985. Marijuana and driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention 17: 323-346.
O'Hanlon J.F., T.W. Haak, G.J. Blaauw and J.B.J. Riemersma, 1982. Diazepam impairs lateral position control in highway driving. Science 217: 79-81.
O'Hanlon J.F., K.A. Brookhuis, J.W. Louwerens and E.R. Volkerts, 1986. Performance testing as part of drug registration. Pages 311-330 in J.F. O'Hanlon and J.J. de Gier, eds., Drugs and Driving. Taylor and Francis, London.
Robbe H.W.J., 1994. Influence of Marijuana on Driving. Doctoral thesis, Institute for Human Psychopharmacology, University of Limburg, Maastricht.
Smiley A.M., 1986. Marijuana: On-road and driving simulator studies. Alcohol, Drugs and Driving: Abstracts and Reviews 2: 121-134.
Terhune K.W., 1982. The Role of Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Drugs in the Accidents of Injured Drivers. Technical Report to US Department of Transportation, Calspan Field Services, Inc.
Terhune K.W., C.A. Ippolito, D.L. Hendricks, J.G. Michalovic, S.C. Bogema, P. Santinga, R. Blomberg and D.F. Dreusser, 1992. The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.
Warren R.A., H.M. Simpson HM, J. Hilchie, G. Cimbura, D. Lucas and R. Bennett, 1981. Drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the Province of Ontario. Pages 203-217 in L. Goldberg, ed., Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Proceedings, 8th In ternational Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. Almqvist and Wiksell International, Stockholm.
Williams A.F., M.A. Peat, D.J. Crouch, J.K. Wells and B.S. Finkle, 1985. Drugs in fatally injured young male drivers. Public Health Reports 100: 19-25.

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Take the High Road
Marijuana may make drivers safer, study claims
Related Stories:

British researchers testing the harmful effects of marijuana delivered an embarrassing bit of news to their government recently. Toked-up study participants went through four weeks of driving tests using driving simulators. Although the researchers found that the drug lowered reaction time, they were surprised to find that it made the participants safer drivers.
Unlike most studies of cannabis -- the drug's medical name -- this one managed to find 15 regular users, because volunteers who've seldom or never used the drug become much more intoxicated, which distorts study results. The drug's mellowing effects made drivers more cautious and less likely to drive dangerously, the London Sunday Times reports. The drop in reaction time was significantly less dangerous than drinking or fatigue would have produced.
Cannabis might even help drivers navigate better at night. Last year, scientists confirmed that the drug's active ingredients also play a role in vision. (The body has natural "cannabinoid" receptors.) The discovery may explain numerous reports that smoking the drug increases visual sensitivity, says the Electronic Telegraph. Caribbean fishermen even claim it helps them see in the dark. A report from the University of California at San Diego has the technical details.
Of course, like any drug, cannabis can be harmful. Several studies have reported that smoking cannabis releases harmful free radicals into the lungs and more "tar" than cigarettes, which contributes to the risk of lung cancer. A feature in New Scientist also contradicts the old idea that cannabis is not addictive. It turns out to be about as addictive as alcohol, and even more so among teens. The good news is that cannabis' addictive potential wanes with age, with most users quitting long before they reach age 50.
-- Jeff Johnston

http://www.healthscout.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Af?id=102971&a...
From The Canberra Times
letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/
October 21, 1998
STUDY GOES TO POT
ADELAIDE: Drivers who use marijuana are less likely to cause road accidents than drunk drivers or even drug-free drivers, a study has found.
The study, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, prompted researchers to warn against diverting resources from anti-drink driving campaigns to campaigns against driving under the influence of drugs. Conducted by a team from the University of Adelaide’s pharmacology department and Transport SA, the study used analyses of blood samples from 2500 drivers injured in accidents in South Australia.
In their attempt to define whether cannabis and other drugs played a large role in road accidents, researchers used information from the police report on each crash to determine whether the injured driver was culpable.
Drug-free drivers caused the accidents in 53.5 per cent of cases.
Injured drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 per cent were culpable in nearly 90 per cent of accidents they were involved in.
Drivers with cannabis in their blood were less likely to cause an accident, with a culpability rate of 50.6 per cent.

It is also very important that this was leaked to the London Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

August 13, 2000
From The London Times
http://www.the-times.co.uk/
By Jonathon Carr-Brown

CANNABIS MAY MAKE YOU A SAFER DRIVER
TAKING the high road may not be so dangerous after all. Ministers are set to be embarrassed by government-funded research which shows that driving under the influence of drugs makes motorists more cautious and has a limited impact on their risk of crashing.

In the study, conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, grade A cannabis specially imported from America was given to 15 regular users. The doped-up drivers were then put through four weeks of tests on driving simulators to gauge reaction times and awareness.

Regular smokers were used because previous tests in America using first-timers resulted in the volunteers falling over and feeling ill. The laboratory found its guinea pigs through what it described as a "snowballing technique" - one known user was asked to find another after being promised anonymity and exemption from prosecution agreed with the Home Office.

Instead of proving that drug-taking while driving increased the risk of accidents, researchers found that the mellowing effects of cannabis made drivers more cautious and so less likely to drive dangerously.

Although the cannabis affected reaction time in regular users, its effects appear to be substantially less dangerous than fatigue or drinking. Research by the Australian Drugs Foundation found that cannabis was the only drug tested that decreased the relative risk of having an accident.

The findings will embarrass ministers at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) who commissioned the study after pressure from motoring organisations and anti-drug campaigners. Lord Whitty, the transport minister, will receive the report later this month.

Last week police revealed details of new drug-driving tests to be administered by the roadside, which were received with some amusement. They require suspected drug-drivers to stand on one leg, lean back and touch their nose with their eyes closed, and to count to 30 silently with their eyes shut. This is apparently difficult for those on a drug trip.

The advertising company McCann-Erickson has already prepared a television campaign using Pulp's song Sorted for Es and Whizz, the slogan "Never drive on drugs" and the pay-off line "then you come down".

However, if the findings are less than frightening on the effects of marijuana, they may convince ministers to put more money into raising driver awareness of fatigue. Tiredness is now blamed for causing 10% of all fatal accidents, compared with 6% for alcohol and 3% for drugs.

A low-key radio campaign will be launched tomorrow warning drivers to take breaks.

author, refused to reveal his findings before they were published but said: "If you were to ask me to rank them in order of priority, fatigue is the worst killer, followed by alcohol, and drugs follow way behind in third."
(MarijuanaNews note: Obviously, the thing to do is to arrest people who stay up too late. The police could kick down doors and arrest people who read in bed.)

Tunbridge admitted that the effect of drugs differed with the individual, the amount taken, the environment they were taken in and the point at which you tested reactions.

Cocaine users are known to be alert drivers when they first take the drug, but then they have a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. The particular problem with cannabis is that it stays in a person's system for up to 30 hours but its effects wear off within a few hours.
(MarijuanaNews note: I assume the author meant to say that it stays in a person's system for up to 30 days.)
Copyright: 2000 Times Newspapers Ltd

In recent months I have been corresponding with a Dr Jim Frank of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding "Impaired Driving." During our discussions he offered and sent me six studies done by the Department of Transportation. After reading these studies, I picked out the most startling, I feel, comments many will read while insisting that since alcohol negatively affects driving skill, all other illegal drugs must, too. Here are some items I gleaned from each study provided by the NHTSA.
This is MY research ---------Dankhank Lawton OK DOT HS 808 078 "Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance" Final Report, Nov. 1993 Conclusions on page 108 of the copy I received from the NHTSA are interesting and informative. A sample, "It is possible to safely study the effects of marijuana on driving on highways or city streets in the presence of other traffic." "Drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to over-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving ability and compensate when they can; e.g. by increasing effort to accomplish the task, increasing headway or slowing down, or a combination of these."
DOT HS 808 939 "Marijuana, Alcohol and Actual Driving Performance" July 1999 Conclusion on page 39 midway of paragraph 5.1 of the copy I received: The addition of the new data, (for marijuana), broadens the range of reactions that may be expected to occur in real life. This range has not been shown to extend into the area that can rightfully be regarded as dangerous or an obviously unacceptable threat to public safety.
DOT HS 809 020 "Visual Search and Urban City Driving under the Influence of Marijuana and Alcohol" March 2000: Conclusion 1 on page 24 of the copy I received. "Low doses of marijuana, taken alone, did not impair city driving performance and did not diminish visual search frequency for traffic at intersections in this study." General Discussion, page 22 “Previous on-the-road studies have also demonstrated that subjects are generally aware of the impairing properties of THC and try to compensate for the drug's impairing properties by driving more carefully (Hansteen et al, 1976; Casswell, 1979; Peck et al, 1986; Robbe 1994). “
DOT HS 809 642 "State of Knowledge of Drug Impaired Driving" Sept 2003: Experimental Research of Cannabis, page 41 midway: "The extensive studies by Robbe and O'Hanlon (1993), revealed that under the influence of Marijuana, drivers are aware of their impairment, and when experimental tasks allow it, they tend to actually decrease speed, avoid passing other cars, and reduce other risk-taking behaviors."
DOT HS 808 065 "The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers" Oct. 1992 In discussing the "Distribution of Ratings on Driver Responsibility" Table 5.12 page 64 of the copy I received, paragraph (p.65); "Responsibility, drugs and alcohol”, third paragraph, the following appears: "Note that the responsibility rates of the THC-only and Cocaine-only groups are actually lower than that of the drugfree drivers. Although these results too are inconclusive, they give no suggestion of impairment in the two groups. The low responsibility rate for THC was reminiscent of that found in young males by Williams and colleagues (1986).” This study is remarkable in it's propensity to attack itself as inconclusive.
Forensic Science Review Vol. 14, Number One/Two, Jan 2002, surely must be the reference of note regarding metabolic functions and where the THC goes following ingestion. This review discuses THC and it's metabolites; THCCOOH, 11-OH-THC to mention the most discussed. Location and type of measured quantities of these and other metabolites should be easy to use to determine if a driver is "stoned" or was stoned yesterday, or last week. Mention was made of a man who had measurable levels of metabolites sixty-seven days after ingesting Cannabis. Chap IX paragraph D, "Summary" appears to be of two minds. While stating, "Studies examining Cannabis' causal effect through responsibility analysis have more frequently indicated that THC alone did not increase accident risk …," it continues optimistically suggesting that further exhaustive research may rebut that.

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