With the legalization of marijuana a mere two days away for Canadians, both current and potential users of the substance have had a lot of their burning questions left unanswered while the government has been scrambling with regulation. One of those big questions has to do with driving high and exactly how long it takes to determine that you're sober enough to drive by a police officer.
Thankfully, a Canadian study done at McGill University has recently provided a bit more clarity on the situation. The study that had been published Monday looked at how cannabis affects drivers and how long they are impacted to the point where they shouldn't necessarily be behind the wheel.
To do so, the trial looked at 45 cannabis consumers, consisting of 21 female and 24 male participants between the ages of 18 and 24. From there they tested their driving reflexes while high.
Each subject was put through 3 driving situations at the one hour, three-hour and five-hour mark after inhaling 100-mg of cannabis. For comparison, a standard joint will have anywhere between 300-500 mg of cannabis. During the driving trials, the researchers also introduced common distractions that a drive would face while on the road to test the subjects' ability to focus and react.
What researchers found was a "significant impairment on complex and novel driving-related tasks." Also finding that such impairment was still present even 5 hours after the subjects had initially gotten high. Other external studies have also found that the effects of cannabis depending on how much you can consume can last up to 24 hours.
What this study in particular concludes is that you should wait at least 6 hours after using cannabis before you get behind the wheel. Though with other studies claiming effects can last up to 24 hours, if you want to be extra safe, you might want to give your system a 24-hour period to purge before getting behind the wheel.
It's definitely an extreme, to say the least, but with both the police and government not giving concrete statistics on what deems a person legally high and unable to drive, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Source: CBC Canada