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Many drivers who test positive for marijuana have a child in the car, survey findings

Breaking News Emails Get urgent news alerts and special reports. April 25, 2019, 16:09 UTC By Linda Carroll Nearly one in seven Washington statesmen traveling with children tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, reported researchers Thursday. Based on a road survey, the researchers investigated that 1 4.1 percent of drivers with children on board had used cannabis according to their report published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drug. "One of the things I want consumers to know is that cannabinoid products can deteriorate," said study author Angela Eichelberger, a senior research institute at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "And different products and methods for ingestion can have different effects." Another concern, she said, is that some of the people who tested positive may have deteriorated. In October, two studies found an increase in the number of highways crashing in four of the states where recreational use of marijuana has been legitimized. The studies did not show cause and effect of marijuana use and crashes, but transport experts are concerned about the trend. Where there are not many studies on cannabis and driving, although the existing research suggests that the drug slows down thinking and response time, which leads to increased risk of crash. The information used in the new study came from the Washington State Roadside Survey, which was conducted from June 2014 to June 2015 within six counties of the state. The data for the surveys was collected during a day's two-hour…

Breaking News Emails

Get urgent news alerts and special reports.

By Linda Carroll

Nearly one in seven Washington statesmen traveling with children tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, reported researchers Thursday.

Based on a road survey, the researchers investigated that 1

4.1 percent of drivers with children on board had used cannabis according to their report published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drug.

“One of the things I want consumers to know is that cannabinoid products can deteriorate,” said study author Angela Eichelberger, a senior research institute at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “And different products and methods for ingestion can have different effects.”

Another concern, she said, is that some of the people who tested positive may have deteriorated.

In October, two studies found an increase in the number of highways crashing in four of the states where recreational use of marijuana has been legitimized. The studies did not show cause and effect of marijuana use and crashes, but transport experts are concerned about the trend.

Where there are not many studies on cannabis and driving, although the existing research suggests that the drug slows down thinking and response time, which leads to increased risk of crash.

The information used in the new study came from the Washington State Roadside Survey, which was conducted from June 2014 to June 2015 within six counties of the state. The data for the surveys was collected during a day’s two-hour Friday period (either 9:30 and 11:30 or 1:30 to 3:30: 30 pm) and four two-high nighttime periods on Friday and Saturday (10 pm to midnight and at 1 to 3.).

Drivers were invited to either a stop light or a stop sign to turn their cars to a data collection point. They can do as much as $ 60 for volunteering to attend – $ 10 to give a saliva test and $ 50 for a blood test. Together with the samples, the drivers filled in a questionnaire.

Of the 2056 Washington drivers who chose to attend, 238 or 9.3 percent, were accompanied by a child. The good news, the researchers say, is that campaigns on drinking and driving seem to have reasoned.

The news was not as good when it came to marijuana.

The likelihood that a motorist would test positive for THC did not seem to be altered by the presence of a child in the car: Fourteen percent traveling with one child was positive for THC, compared to 17 percent of those who were not accompanied by a child. The difference was not statistically significant, said Eichelberger, which means that it can only depend on chance.

The study notes that motorists’ attitudes about marijuana suffered from whether they used it and then drove with a child. Among those who thought cannabis was “very likely” to impair driving, 8.9 percent tested positive for THC. That’s compared to 40.6 percent of those who thought it was “not very likely” to impair driving.

The new study highlights the fact that many people do not realize cannabis can impair driving ability, says Marilyn Huestis, a professor at The Lambert Center for Medical Cannabis and Hemp Studies at Thomas Jefferson University.

Although there are national standards for alcohol consumption – an alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher is considered cognitively impaired and uncertain to drive – There is no clear policy yet when someone is too high to drive.

“The truth is, if everything goes as it should, you can do it at home,” Huestis said. “But you can’t react properly and quickly when an unexpected event occurs. You see this over and over again in crash cases.”

The new findings are “troubled,” Dr. Katherine Hoops, an assistant professor of pediatric medicine at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “This highlights a worrying public health problem, especially when you consider car crashes to be a leading cause of death in children in the United States.”

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