What does Australians think about smoking marijuana and driving? Is cannabis safer than alcohol when driving?
It is illegal to smoke cannabis and drive in Australia. Marijuana poorly affects your driving by reducing reaction time, time perception and hand eye coordination. Alcohol has more severe effects on drivers than cannabis and being “high”.
With Canberra becoming the “Weed Capital” of Australia, various health and political groups are concerned about the unforeseen dangers with Cannabis and driving.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has opposed the new Cannabis laws, saying they will lead to more death and injury on the road. RACS highlights that driving can impair cognitive-motor function, and may double the risk of motor vehicle crashes.
Contrary to these reports though, extensive research on the effects of Cannabis compared with alcohol on driving has been done in the U.S. and Canada that allows us to see real-life scenarios with overnight legalisation of marijuana.
When children grow up with their parents refusing a glass of wine because they are driving, it becomes common knowledge not to drink and drive.
Cannabis is relatively new, and there are a lot of misconceptions out there. New Zealand has included safety campaigns for the effects of marijuana with its future legalisation bill in 2020.
Once legalised, New Zealanders will be more informed about the effects of Cannabis on one’s health.
Canada and states in the U.S. have enough information and formal studies on the effects of legal recreational Cannabis and driving accidents to give Australia confidence.
We’re walking into new territory, but with the right public education on Cannabis, Australians won’t be driving high or drunk.
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