AAA is leading the effort to raise awareness about the dangers of marijuana and driving. Consider these facts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Marijuana use by college students is at an all-time high
  • Marijuana use has steadily increased; in 2013, there were 19.38 million current users — up from 14.5 million in 2007
  • More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana
  • 6% of 12th graders (about 1 in 16) report daily use of marijuana
  • The perception about the harm of marijuana has declined in recent years, with just 25% of high school seniors saying marijuana use poses a big risk (half of what it was 20 years ago)

Marijuana use is part of the public conversation — all the states in AAA Northeast’s territory have laws either enacted or under consideration to legalize recreational use for adults 21 and over. 34 US states have legalized medical marijuana.

Regardless of your position on legalization, there’s no denying that driving a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. The skills required to drive are all affected when high.

Talk to your loved ones

Educate yourself on the effects of marijuana

Understanding how marijuana affects your cognitive and physical abilities will help you make smarter decisions about using drugs and driving. 
Educate yourself on the effects of marijuana

Talk to your loved ones

Generally, kids today are more accepting of marijuana use than in the past. Marijuana is more readily available, more parents smoke freely and legalization efforts have cast the drug in a different light. And, the dangers of marijuana are often downplayed, while attention is focused on legalization.
Talk to your loved ones

Set a good example

Ongoing efforts to discuss the dangers of drunk driving have significantly reduced the number of alcohol-related crashes, with teens reporting that parental influence plays a big role in their decision not to drink. The same holds true for marijuana. Discussing the law and consequences of driving while high should be mandatory conversation for everyone.
Set a good example

Involve the community

Organizations are great resources and can help educate family and friends. Schools, doctors/pediatricians, coaches, youth groups — the entire community can take responsibility for relaying the message. 
Involve the community

Important Resources and Education

This free resource helps identify the effects your medications — over the counter and prescription — may have on your driving abilities. Roadwise Rx does not include information about marijuana, but for members taking prescription drugs, this is a good place to start.

 

Roadwise-Rx

AAA has developed a free program for high school students that explains the effects of marijuana and driving. Endorsed by the Brown University School of Public Heath, the course provides real-world advice and the latest data and statistics to help teens make informed choices when they get behind the wheel.

Your school can contact AAA to request this presentation. Visit AAA.com/ShiftingGears to learn more.

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (FTS) includes findings related to marijuana-impaired driving:

 

Older Drivers and Marijuana

 

Evaluating Legal Implications of Marijuana

 

Marijuana involvement in fatal crashes, Washington State 

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