This article was originally published on The Bluntness and appears here with permission.
Some marijuana consumers claim driving while high doesn’t affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle. No, it makes them better at it. Or at the very least, it inspires caution, making them safer behind the wheel.
Anyone who’s been high, however, would likely admit that marijuana can make driving a challenge. But that doesn’t stop the cannabis advocacy community from lashing out whenever a new study emerges claiming that driving high poses a threat.
This is a strange reaction.
After all, even the alcohol industry admits that drunk driving is a no-no. So, why are advocacy groups always prepared to go to war when the data finds that driving impaired on pot might be problematic?
The official stance from NORML on driving while high
We reached out to NORML, one of the largest cannabis advocacy groups in the world, to find out.
“To be clear, NORML has never shied away from discussing issues specific to cannabis and traffic safety, which includes acknowledging how cannabis exposure can influence psychomotor skills and motor vehicle accident risk,” Paul Armentano, Deputy Director for NORML told The Bluntness.
The organization simply doesn’t agree with the naysayers. “NORML has criticized opponents' claims that changes in marijuana laws are causal factors in alleged increases in motor vehicle accidents because the data does not support this sensational and fear-mongering claim,” he said.
Mr. Armentano asserts that the organization’s opposition is not to dissuade laws against driving high, but to encourage effective policy. “NORML has a long history of…calling for additional and more accurate tools and methods to both identify and discourage DUI cannabis behavior,” he recalls.
Regardless of this stance, NORML doesn’t believe driving while high is as dangerous as drunk driving.
“Drivers under the influence of alcohol tend to engage in greater risk-taking behaviors, such as accelerating speed, making more frequent lane changes, and exhibiting an overconfidence in their driving abilities,” Armentano …