Driving and Marijuana

Policy debates regarding marijuana-law reform invariably raise the issue of marijuana and driving. This is a valid concern. In fact, NORML’s own “Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use” invoke a “no driving” clause, stating: “Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition.”

Nevertheless, concerns regarding doped driving should not be an impediment to marijuana-law reform. Alcohol is legal in America, yet every state maintains tough laws punishing those who choose to drive impaired by it. There is no reason why similar principles should not regulate cannabis consumption.

Moreover, emerging scientific research indicates that cannabis alone possesses far less impact on the psychomotor skills needed for driving than alcohol does, and is far less likely an independent causal factor in automobile accidents. The following documents provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence regarding marijuana’s impact on psychomotor performance and accident risk.