Marijuana and driving is a hotly contested subject among employers, regulatory authorities, and researchers. Cannabis use is gaining traction as more states legalize its recreational and medicinal applications.
As a result of these legislation changes, many people seek out Skunk seeds for sale and cultivate them. Some individuals claim that weed consumption leads to a risk on the road. How true is this scientifically speaking? Are your drivers really at high risk because of weed consumption? What are the effects of marijuana on driving?
Continue reading to uncover the answers and learn practical steps to keep your commercial fleet drivers safe.
How Does Marijuana Affect Driving?
The automotive industry is considering innovations such as sustainable hemp cars for their benefits. This move is a good sign for the marijuana community, but what’s the stance on driver weed consumption?
How may the use of cannabis affect driving? If motorists take marijuana with a high THC content, they may experience cognitive impairment. The compound is psychoactive and induces the “high” associated with weed.
THC affects sections of the brain that control the body’s movements, coordination, balance, memory, and judgment.
These effects may cause slow reaction times and reduced decision-making abilities for a driver.
Some studies indicate that driving while high on weed may increase crash risk. However, the exact contribution of cannabis to collision risk remains unclear. Experts can detect pot in body fluids for several days or weeks after use.
Marijuana Impairment: What’s the Truth?
How does marijuana affect driving?
The effects of weed consumption vary depending on a user’s tolerance levels. Some experience relaxation and euphoria, while others manifest elevated sensory depictions and altered time perceptions.
Factors that impact the effect include:
- Type of cannabis product
- Consumption method
- Product potency
- User tolerance
Inhalation, ingestion, and topical application are common intake techniques. Smoking certain strains result in an almost immediate buzz that lasts up to four hours. Intoxication onset may take longer with other consumption methods.
Product potency depends on the terpenes and THC levels. These influence the degree of the psychoactive experience. Some evidence also suggests that mixing marijuana with alcohol worsens the impairment and erodes the user’s defensive driving abilities.
Medical Marijuana and Driving: The Verdict
Many studies’ major issue of contention is determining the impact of THC when analyzing
medical marijuana and driving. Unlike alcohol, the compound levels in the driver’s body may not accurately indicate impairment.
Determining the former is relatively straightforward because the body’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) easily correlates with intoxication. THC presence doesn’t necessarily point to impairment because the body processes it differently.
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THC levels spike immediately after intake but drop to lower levels quickly, even before the high ends.
So, does marijuana affect driving? A U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report (NHTSA) sums up this verdict. There’s currently a lack of evidence-based techniques to detect marijuana-impaired driving.
The best you can do for your fleet is to institute preventative measures rather than wait to cure the problem later.
Best Practices to Ensure Driver Safety
If you’re an employer or fleet manager, marijuana use by your drivers doesn’t have to be a problem.
Whether your drivers are tokers or growers who know the best place to buy weed seeds, practice policies help. Some examples include:
Start by developing a comprehensive cannabis policy accommodating the current laws of every state your company operates. As these regulations vary, a zero-tolerance approach may not be tenable.
Try formulating your policy document in an appealing yet practical manner. Common points include::
- Prohibit drivers from consuming the herb in any form while working.
- Forbid workers from being under the influence of pot when reporting for duty. It’s best to confine their consumption at home.
Once your policy framework is ready, partner with an attorney conversant with state legislation to review it and give feedback.
Drug Testing Regulations
As part of your marijuana policy, set clear drug testing procedures for your drivers. The document should describe the conditions for carrying out the tests, for instance:
- Ongoing periodic random testing
- Any time you suspect impairment
- After a collision
The policy should also define the threshold that qualifies as impairment and the repercussions of a positive test. Work closely with a medical expert who has extensive knowledge of interpreting THC drug tests.
Awareness and Support
If any of your drivers admit or seem to have weed-dependency problems, provide access to support. Develop in-house programs or refer them to local resources to set them on a recovery journey.
Additionally, educate your workers frequently on the following:
- The ins and outs of marijuana and driving, as well as other drugs
- The details of your firm’s cannabis policy, especially any special considerations in their states of deployment
- Any similar impairments that may arise from fatigue, alcohol, medications, and health conditions
Instituting fleet safety in your company goes beyond drivers. It touches on your managers and supervisors, too, so train them on the following:
- Their specific responsibilities as outlined in the policy framework.
- How to detect and document impairment symptoms.
After establishing in-house regulation frameworks, keep monitoring relevant state cannabis laws. Pay special attention to any enhanced impairment detection techniques. Based on these, update your policy document as needed.
As you stay on top of driver safety, don’t forget to apprise yourself of how to make your vehicles last longer. Peak performance reinforces safety.
Weed consumption is on the rise in the United States. Despite some unanswered concerns about marijuana’s role in crash risk, there are steps to enhance your fleet drivers’ safety.
These preventative measures can significantly boost your company’s reputation while minimizing accident-related costs.