With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, it’s important to know a bit more about how it could affect our everyday lives.
Cannabis is often seen as a great way to unwind after a long day, de-stress if you’re battling an illness, or just enjoy at a party with friends. While these may all be perfectly acceptable reasons to consume it, planning ahead for your transportation needs is becoming a must – especially if you don’t want to be charged with impaired driving.
Impaired driving has included the use of cannabis since 1925 in Canada. In fact, according to Canada.ca, “In addition to risking your life and the lives of others, you could face serious consequences such as having your license suspended, fines, criminal charges or even jail time if you are convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis or other drugs.”
Studying the side effects
Most of us are already familiar with the stereotypes of what you can expect by smoking weed, but getting the munchies and binging on snacks isn’t the only thing affecting someone who smokes.
Other common side effects include:
- Decreased reaction time
- Impaired motor skills
- Difficulty concentrating
As you can imagine, these would all affect you behind the wheel. A recent study conducted by McGill University put this to the test. Volunteers would take an average amount of cannabis and be asked to enter a driving simulator an hour after inhaling, then 3 hours, and finally once more after 5 hours.
They realized that while distraction-free driving was more or less the same in terms of safety, when they introduced more complex, yet common, experiences the results were quite different. “The complex or novel tasks included situations such as avoiding sudden obstacles, like a child crossing the street unexpectedly or driving through a busy intersection.” reports CBC news. The level of impairment was obvious and other studies are looking to test the effects of cannabis on the body even as much as 24 hours after being consumed.
Bottom line, driving after smoking weed could do some serious damage on the road. If you’re planning to smoke, the best course of action is stay where you are, or arrange a way home that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel.
At MG Law, we’re always here to help. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident where the driver was under the influence of cannabis, give our office a call at (613) 730-8460. We can be your support system, and help you understand all your options so you can make informed decisions going forward.