With school out, you and your crew may be planning a mini road trip through Colorado. Your friends are bringing cannabis and plan to smoke it along the way. Even though it’s illegal for you to consume, you tell yourself that it’s only a few joints and think nothing of it. You’ve been a passenger in a car with someone who was high before and didn’t fear for your safety. If that’s the case, you aren’t alone. A study from Colorado State University and Colorado School of Public Health found that 23 percent of young adults admitted to riding along with a driver who was high on cannabis, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Stoned drivers aren’t safe drivers
Even if you or your friends believe that you’re “good stoned drivers,” you must take into account other drivers on the road. Drivers may make sudden maneuvers, come to an abrupt stop or swerve into your lane. Imagine fumbling with a joint in unfamiliar territory, jamming to your favorite song and talking with your friends when someone cuts in front of you.
Even sober drivers who are attentive can struggle to react in time. You and your friends are no exception. Slow reaction times are just one of the many reasons why driving while high can double the risk of a crash.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Here some other side effects of cannabis consumption to consider before taking your next road trip:
- Inability to concentrate
- A sense of fear or panic
- Distorted perception of time (feeling as if everything is in slow motion)
- Difficulty making decisions
- Lack of coordination
Side effects can range from mild to severe. Certain strains and forms of cannabis are more potent than others and affect users differently depending on their tolerances. Users may even be taking medications that heighten the effects of cannabis. In summary, you really can’t be sure how a person will drive high with so many variables in play and the risks don’t outweigh the benefits.
Consuming cannabis underage can result in criminal charges and could easily turn your fun road trip into an unpleasant phone call home – or worse. We encourage you to enjoy your summer vacation, but you may want to think twice before allowing a driver who is high to get behind the wheel.