New Study Finds Millions of Drivers Are High While Behind The Wheel

While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, it is still against the law to drive a motor vehicle while high, even if the driver has a prescription.

A new report by AAA shows around 15 million Americans are high on marijuana while they are behind the wheel. The report also shows those drivers are most likely to be involved in a crash.

The study focused on 2,500 licensed drivers over the age of 16 and their habits after taking marijuana.

According the report, 73 percent of marijuana users became drowsy within one hour. Users between 23-38 were most likely to driver with within an hour after smoking marijuana with 14 percent of them while ten percent of Americans 22 and younger said they were behind the wheel within an hour after using marijuana. However, eight percent of all men surveyed and five percent of women surveyed admitted to driving just after taking marijuana.

“It’s becoming an increasing problem,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA.

Florida law enforcement officials insist they are refining their ways of stopping drivers under the influence of marijuana.

AAA also stressed there are other dangers on Florida roads with the top concern being drunk drivers and those driving drowsy just after taking prescription drugs. The study also found that drivers texting and talking on cell phones engaged in riskier behavior that those getting behind the wheel after taking marijuana.

While marijuana use behind the wheel is bad, according to AAA, alcohol, texting and prescription drug impaired drivers are more of a problem.

Tallahassee lawmakers might be addressing this issue in next year’s legislative session. As of this month, the state Office of Medical Marijuana Use found almost 225,000 Floridians who are now active registered medical-marijuana users.

The study shows only seven percent of Americans said approve of drivers hitting the road after recently using marijuana.

 

Reach Ed Dean at ed.dean@floridadaily.com.

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