Is It Safe To Drive Using Marijuana?

In Canada, legalization of marijuana has been all the buzz in the media lately. People are realizing the enormous potential of medical cannabis in alleviating pain and nausea, reducing epileptic seizures and helping with many different ailments. The Liberal government has announced it will introduce marijuana legalization in the summer of 2018 making recreational pot legal.marijuana

Insurers, treatment providers and rehabilitation centres alike have all been gradually embracing marijuana as a treatment option, and treatment plans submitted which include marijuana therapy have begun to see approval from the insurance industry. This is in part due to the continuing education of both treatment providers and adjusters with regards to medical marijuana and the huge benefits it can provide to those that are involved in the treatment of collision-related injuries. Through this continuation of education, insurers and treatment providers can provide their clients with a new approach to pain relief that can significantly improve quality of life and assist with compliance in other treatments.

One of the more promising benefits of relaxed prohibition, is that marijuana as a treatment option for a variety of collision-related ailments continues to expand, as does the research related to the benefits of this treatment. Marijuana has been recognized as a viable alternative treatment option to the traditional pharmaceutical treatments that are offered by many general practitioners and pain clinics. Conditions for which it has already been approved as a treatment option include: chronic pain conditions, including pain caused by nerve damage (neuropathic) or by damage to body tissue; mental health related issues that arise from an auto collision such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep disturbances and anxiety.


Over the last couple of years, CBD oil has become a popular form of treatment for pain management. It is currently thought to be so effective, that more and more doctors are recommending it instead of traditional pain killers. The major advantage of CBD oil compared to cannabis is that it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling.

Public perception of cannabis is changing, that is for certain, as are the laws pertaining to its use. While those changes are likely to be of great benefit to many Canadians there is one change we can collectively agree to right now to ensure that lives are not put in danger: Do NOT drive while under the influence of cannabis.  Driving high is a form of impaired driving. Your ability to drive safely can be significantly affected after using marijuana. Before you get behind the wheel or get into a car with another driver, it’s important to understand the effects of marijuana on driving.

Is It Safe To Drive While High?

Driving High from Marijuana

It is not safe to drive while high. Marijuana can affect your ability to react, making it unsafe to drive and increasing your chances of a crash.

How long should you wait before driving?

It is recommended that you don’t drive for at least 4 hours after inhalation, 6 hours after oral ingestion and up to 8 hours if you are experiencing a sense of “euphoria” or “high” after inhaling or ingesting marijuana.

What are the risks of driving high?

Marijuana users are 2 to 6 times more likely to crash than drivers who are not impaired. Reasons not to drive while high include:

 Risk of being involved in an auto collision
 Hurting or killing yourself, someone you care about, or innocent strangers
 Getting arrested, paying a fine and having your license suspended
 Being convicted with a criminal record

How Do I Know If I’m Impaired?

Marijuana impairs the ability to drive by affecting your coordination, attention, judgement, reaction time and decision-making skills.  Most studies show that using marijuana impairs your mental functioning when it comes to “cognitive” or thinking ability and short-term memory tasks.

Signs of marijuana impairment include:
 Red or bloodshot eyes
 Delayed reaction time
 Distorted sense of your surroundings
 Poor coordination
 Feeling anxious or panicky
 Feeling dizzy or tired

What happens when you are pulled over?

If you are pulled over, police will do a visual inspection, and may see if they can detect the scent of marijuana in the car. If police suspect that you are high, you can be asked to do a standardized sobriety test on site or at the police station. These tests usually consist of an evaluation of your eyes (red or dilated) and coordination challenges. Police can also request a drug test.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) will oversee the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis through a subsidiary corporation, taking advantage of its experience in distributing controlled substances and commitments to social responsibility. When legalized by the federal government by July 2018, cannabis will be sold in stores under strict retailing standards that meet federal requirements for cannabis sales and online where products would be delivered securely and safely across the province.

It’s not easy living with pain. Whether you suffer from muscle spasms, chronic pain or arthritis finding a solution to help deal with that pain can mean the difference between a pleasant day where you can function to a nightmare of a day, just waiting to end.

Picking Up Pieces does not promote illegal sales or use of marijuana in any way. The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician’s advice. Please always consult your physician for your medical needs.

Picking Up Pieces has been designed to provide a smart and easy search for motor vehicle collision survivors to view articles, news and contact information. We understand how hard it is to pick up the pieces after a collision and we welcome you to become a member by subscribing to receive our Monthly News Bulletin.

Its free! Sign up here:  News Bulletin

Leave a Reply