Written From RedEyesOnline.net
With more states legalizing medical marijuana, it just stands to reason more people are getting behind the wheel and operating a motor vehicle because they think they can. Most stoners feel like they perform better under the influence of weed, and driving is something they feel is a breeze after they get high.
Regardless which state you currently live, getting behind the wheel after smoking marijuana will not only put you and other drivers at risk, you could land in hot water despite your thinking the contrary. As more states are relaxing the rules on marijuana, law enforcement is already working hard to ensure the roadways are not full of distracted drivers.
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Here are just a few eye-opening facts about smoking marijuana and then driving high:
1. Police Testing for THC
Many people who smoke marijuana are under the impression that there is no testing available for marijuana driving. They jump behind the wheel convinced their motor skills are improved and they think that even if they get pulled over, the cops have no real way to proof the contrary. WRONG!
With more states legalizing medical marijuana each year, many police departments across the country have taken a proactive stance and developed technologies that will in fact test THC levels in drivers they suspect are high.
These officers are being taught how to visually identify the signs in a driver they are stoned, then have the drivers perform field tests similar to drinking and driving. Just like the breathalyzer, roadside saliva testing for THC is becoming more of the norm than the exception.
2. Amount of Weed Smoked
Make no mistake about it, there is a huge drop off in driving ability in the person who takes a few hits of a joint and one who has been hitting on the bong for several hours. Bottom line is this when it comes to marijuana driving, the more you smoke, the more challenging it will be to drive.
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When you smoke moderately, your body can feel all the impacts more intently, allowing you to make better judgement calls when driving. In fact, many people who smoke small amounts of marijuana before driving have been shown to be even more cautious on the roads than sober drivers.
The drivers with trace amounts of THC in the blood take fewer risks on the highway, allow more space in between vehicles, and work hard to avoid any incidents while driving. As you smoke more weed, you become less cautious, less observant, and more easily distracted.
3. Decreased Reaction Time vs Experience
In one of the more alarming statistics concerning marijuana driving, it has been shown that the more weed that you smoke before you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a negative impact on your reaction time.
The reason this is such a huge concern is marijuana affects the part of your brain that is responsible for body movements, coordination, and balance. When you are comfortably seated behind the wheel of an automobile however, the effects of the weed can alter your judgement and memory.
First-time marijuana smokers are especially at risk because many of the things they do while driving are committed to memory, and they have trouble even maintaining proper lane speed. These testings showed that regular marijuana smokers developed a tolerance on those effects, and were still able to draw on past experiences to easily navigate the roads.
4. Introducing Alcohol to the Mix
When it comes to marijuana driving, the one thing you should never consider is introducing alcohol into the picture. Those weed smokers who are veteran stoners have developed a tolerance to the effects of the weed and can often navigate the roadways more cautiously than sober drivers.
Adding alcohol into the mix throws all that out the window because it doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are, the effects of alcohol will distort your driving ability and put you and everyone on the road at risk.
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While marijuana slows down eye-to-hand coordination and brain functions, adding in alcohol magnifies those issues and introduces other distractions into the picture. Combing weed and alcohol before driving is a recipe for disaster regardless how experienced you may be of a smoker.
5. The First Hour After Weed Smoking
If you feel that you have to drive after smoking weed or you believe you show zero effects from your stash, do yourself and everyone on the road a huge favor and wait at least one hour before getting into your vehicle.
Not only could you save yourself huge fines and possible jail time, you are saving the lives of others on the road when you wait it out. During the first hour after smoking weed, the effects of the THC on the body are the strongest. Depending on how frequently you smoke weed, the effects can be completely worn off in one to three hours.
Although the THC stays in the body for long periods, you will not exhibit those obvious signs you are high if you can wait one hour before driving. It may be more challenging for an officer to determine you are high simply waiting at least an hour.
These facts about marijuana driving should open your eyes to what’s happening on the highways across the country. Right now someone is getting high for the first time and taking their life in their hands getting behind the wheel.
The bottom line here is that only you know the effects of smoking marijuana on your body. If you take anything from this information, play on the side of caution will always be your best bet.
Smoking too much weed in one session distorts your ability to decide whether to drive or not. If you are not a veteran stoner, toss the keys aside and enjoy yourself at the party because if you get pulled over and fail a THC field test, you are going to be paying for it for many years to come.
The penalties are just like that for DUI and DWI, so take this serious or you will be on the losing end of a long painful legal battle.