THC — the intoxicant found in marijuana — is being detected in twice as many injured drivers since cannabis was legalized in Canada.
But since weed’s legalization in our nation in 2018, more and more folks are getting high, deciding it’s a good idea to drive, and then winding up hurt. That’s according to a study coming out of the University of British Columbia this week.
The report shows that cannabis was found in the systems of twice as many injured Canadian drivers since weed became legal as before.
“It’s concerning that we’re seeing such a dramatic increase,” Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, an associate professor at UBC and the primary researcher of the study, wrote. “There are serious risks associated with driving after cannabis use. Our findings suggest more is needed to deter this dangerous behaviour in light of legalization.”
Between 2013 and 2020, blood samples from more than 4,300 drivers who were considered “moderately injured” and received medical attention at one of four trauma centres in B.C., were analyzed.
Prior to cannabis legalization, 3.8 percent of drivers had blood-THC levels above the legal driving limit of two nanograms/ml. Post legalization, however, that has spiked to 8.6 percent.
Interestingly, the largest increase reported was in drivers over the age of 50, so it’s not even necessarily the ‘kids these days’ who are to blame for the hike.
“We hope that policymakers will use our findings to design public information campaigns and enforcement measures that encourage drivers, especially older drivers, to separate cannabis use from driving,” said Brubacher. “At the same time, it is important not to lose sight of alcohol impaired driving, which is extremely high risk, especially when combined with cannabis.”
If you’re not about to get behind the wheel, here are some of the best Canadian cannabis strains according to the pros.
While cannabis use is associated with cognitive deficits and psychomotor impairment, medical professionals cautions that the presence of THC in the blood is not always an indicator that a collision was caused by cannabis impairment.