A study published this week found more than half of medical marijuana patients in Michigan drive while under the influence.
The study, conducted by the University of Michigan, Iowa State University and VA Center for Clinical Management Research, studied nearly 800 patients. They were recruited at three different medical cannabis certification centers in Michigan.
The study looked at driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC),
790 adults seeking medical cannabis certification or recertification for moderate/severe pain were recruited from February 2014 through June 2015 at Michigan medical cannabis clinics. About half of participants were male (52 percent) and 81 percent were white; their mean age was 45.8 years.
Participants completed survey measures of DUIC (driving within 2 hours of use, driving while “a little high,” and driving while “very high”) and background factors (demographics, alcohol use, etc.).
For the past 6 months, DUIC within 2 hours of use was reported by 56.4 percent of the sample, DUIC while a “little high” was reported by 50.5 percent, and “very high” was reported by 21.1 percent.
Greater cannabis quantity consumed and binge drinking were generally associated with DUIC behaviors. Higher pain was associated with lower likelihood of DUIC.
Researchers concluded that driving while under the influence of cannabis is a public health concern, stating more research needs to be done on how to measure the issue.
"In conclusion, these results point to the potential need for interventions to increase medical cannabis patients’ understanding of cannabis-related driving impairment as well as to increase motivation to
avoid driving after consumption," researchers wrote.