AAA: Driving high on marijuana is dangerous, illegal

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois New Year’s Day. (Photo Pixabay)

 

By Neil Doyle

BLOOMINGTON – In less than a week recreational cannabis becomes legal in Illinois.  A new survey shows motorists are “very concerned” about the impact of marijuana use on roadway safety.

Last month AAA conducted a survey and it showed 66% or two-thirds of its members are “extremely” or “very concerned” about people driving after smoking.

An analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered that the proportion of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had recently used marijuana doubled in Washington state after it became one of the first to legalize recreational use.

“Impaired driving jeopardizes public safety on our roadways regardless of whether the substance used is legal, prescribed, obtained over-the counter or purchased in a retail setting,” said AAA spokesperson Molly Hart.  “Even after recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois, driving under the influence of the drug will remain a serious offense.”

The auto club group said marijuana can decrease car handling, performance, and attention, while increasing reaction times. Mixing alcohol and marijuana may produce greater impairment than either would on its own.

AAA urges motorists to avoid driving while impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug.

Neil Doyle can be reached at neil.doyle@cumulus.com

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