Marijuana: Facts, News and UpdatesLeslie Jasper2023-12-03T17:56:41+00:00
With ever changing laws and new scientific findings coming out every week, we want our coalition and community members to have the most up to date information on marijuana regulations and the truth about how marijuana effects the body. Below are some fast facts provided by the CDC:
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with approximately 22.2 million users each month.
• Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with approximately 22.2 million users each month. • Research shows that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6. • Marijuana use directly affects the brain-specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teens, are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of marijuana. • Eating foods or drinking beverages that contain marijuana have some different risks than smoking marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. • Long-term or frequent marijuana use has been linked to increased risk of psychosis or schizophrenia in some users. • Using marijuana during pregnancy may increase the baby’s risk for developmental problems.
Because driving is such a common activity, it’s easy to forget how you really must stay alert to stay safe. While it may seem like your body goes on automatic when accelerating or changing lanes, your brain is actually in high gear. Drugs and alcohol interfere with the brain’s ability to function properly. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main active ingredient in marijuana, affects areas of the brain that control your body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment.
How does marijuana affect driving?
Driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana, like alcohol, negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving:
• Marijuana can slow your reaction time and ability to make decisions. • Marijuana use can impair coordination, distort perception, and lead to memory loss and difficulty in problem-solving. • The risk of impaired driving associated with marijuana in combination with alcohol appears to be greater than that for either by itself.
What do we know about marijuana use and the risk of car crashes?
Although we know marijuana negatively affects a number of skills needed for safe driving, and some studies have shown an association between marijuana use and car crashes, it is unclear whether marijuana use actually increases the risk of car crashes. This is because: • An accurate roadside test for drug levels in the body doesn’t exist. • Marijuana can remain in a user’s system for days or weeks after last use (depending on how much a person uses and how often they use marijuana). • Drivers are not always tested for drug use, especially if they have an illegal blood alcohol concentration level because that is enough evidence for a driving-while-impaired charge. • When tested for substance use following a crash, drivers can have both drugs and alcohol or multiple drugs in their system, making it hard to know which substance contributed more to the crash.
Is there a legal limit for marijuana impairment while operating a vehicle?
Laws vary from state to state. If you intend to drive, the safest option is not to have any alcohol or drugs in your system at all.
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