The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Driving under the influence of cannabis

    Past studies on the impact of driving under the influence of cannabis on traffic safety showed that during the acute period of intoxication, cannabis diminishes driving faculties and raises the risk of collision.

    Researchers from University de Montreal, in Quebec studied the association between impulsivity or sensation-seeking and the risk of driving under the influence of cannabis.

    First, the details.

    • 83 men were observed in driving simulation tests and questioned about their driving history.
    • Dangerous driving habits (eg, risky driving, aggressive driving, and negative emotional driving), behaviors observed in a driving simulator, psychological predictors, and crash involvement were reported by the participants and recorded.
    • Men were selected because statistics show they engage more often in dangerous driving and driving under the influence of cannabis compared to women.

    And, the results.

    • 35% of the men were involved in at least 1 driving accident in the previous 3 years.
    • Furthermore, 30 participants admitted using cannabis and 80% of those users reported at least 1 incidence of driving under the influence of cannabis in the previous year.
    • Individuals scoring high on impulsivity or sensation-seeking scales demonstrated an elevated risk of driving under the influence of cannabis.

    The bottom line?
    “Our study found that men with self-reported driving under the influence of cannabis tend to be associated with an increased risk of being involved in a car accident,” concluded the authors.

    Others have reported an association between smoking marijuana and the increased risk of having a driving accident. And several countries in Europe have legal blood level limits for cannabis. The contribution of this study is that it suggests that men who are most likely to drive impulsively are also most likely to get behind the wheel while they’re high.

    3/28/09 20:15 JR

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