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Marijuana Consumers Test Their Driving Skills


marijuana driving testCNN may have just posted their best piece of investigative journalism in years. In the following video, three drivers of varying ages got incredibly high on marijuana and test-drove cars around a course. A driving-ed instructor accompanied them to avert any chance of an accident, and police watched from the sidelines to spot any visible ‘signs’ of inebriation in their movements.

The volunteers — a young daily smoker, adult weekend smoker and elder infrequent smoker — proceeded to test escalating levels of stupor against the new baseline ‘legal limit’ in Washington state. They had to reach excesses of 5 times the legal limit before their ability to drive became impaired. In most cases, the danger they presented was driving too slowly or with frequent hesitations.

Despite resounding state level calls to end to the war on drugs, the DEA and federal government still loom overhead with murky legal gray zones. When asked by Barbara Walters what his current stance on the issue was, Obama said he would not make it a priority to go after recreational users in states that have passed legalization initiatives.

How did the ‘impaired’ volunteers actually do? Well at a certain point, the substance had an undeniable effect on their ability to navigate a vehicle sensibly. But they all maintained surprising control, even at incredibly excessive levels of marijuana consumption. Moreover, unlike drunk drivers, they were very much aware of their state and agreed they were not on top of their game. Without over-indulging, it seems people’s critical thinking can be trusted more with a few hits than a couple of drinks.

When it comes to marijuana in America, there’s still a long road ahead to change laws, perceptions and behavior. But it’s progress worth making, as long as it gets us away from misinformed stereotypes like this.


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Johnny Green


  1. The problem that pot smokers are faced with in the long run is what it does to our temple that God has given us and this will keep others against it. There are medicinal benefits behind it but at the end of the day…this is a hypocritical nation where cigarettes and alcohol are legal and causes more damage to our body and causes more death then we know how to handle and still fight the cannabis battle for what reason? I don’t get this hypocritical nation.

  2. I’m sincerely happy for you Donna. I’m sure big pharmaceutical company’s are not. In fact I’m positive that they are fighting to keep cannabis from being legalized, not only for medicinal purposed, but for recreational use as well. I know people that use it medicinally but also fear being drug tested and losing their job and that just sucks. I wish you the best.

  3. I also have epilepsy 55 years now…Sativa daytime is the best medicine ever! Indica at night! I took so much dilantine and phenobarbital with horrible side effects. I can finally function at normal levels and life is good! Move to Washington state!

  4. Have epilepsy. No medicine helps. Wish Marijuana was legalized where it may possibly help control my seizures

  5. The report was originally produced and broadcast by KIRO-TV in Seattle. The original is lengthier, funnier, more informative, and well worth watching. It’s at
    In addition, they have an “outtakes” video of the woman, Addy, that is way funny. There’s a link to it on the story page or link directly at

  6. The end of the 5 nanogram limit…

    Tolerance seems to be a key word regarding the impairment of a driver. Looks like we need to have NTHSA, NTSB and the insurance companies come up with a better way to determine impairment.

    One important aspect of this spectacle is that as the level of intoxication increased there was a decrease in the desire or willingness to operate a motor vehicle. Everyone that consumes cannabis knows that when you get too high you just want to find a nice quiet spot to chill and take in the experience. Too much sensory input is an annoyance and is often avoided. Judgement is impaired, but it influences the user to ride out the session in a pleasing venue, usually not moving and including music. The same cannot be said about alcohol…

    I am having difficulty in finding data on cannabis DUI rates in America, but I did find this article from NORMAL dated September 12, 2011 – http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-and-driving-a-scientific-and-rational-review . Preliminary research is finding that people under the DUI limit for alcohol are more likely to drive recklessly than people that are well above the 5 nanogram limit for cannabis. I have a feeling that cannabis DUI infractions are a lot less than everyone may think.

    I know I am over the top on this next comment: Cannabis could actually save lives on the highway. Imagine all drivers driving slow and cautious, smiling and being courteous, singing along to their favorite tunes. The only impairment (distraction) would be the repetitive reaching for the cheetos and soda ;)

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