One question on everyone's minds, as access to marijuana becomes more widely available, is how does using marijuana effect one's ability to drive? The question not only concerns how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle while using marijuana, but also, what happens when law enforcement catches someone behind the wheel while having used marijuana? These questions are especially crucial for medical marijuana patients, who require marijuana as a form of medication, but who also don't want to forfeit their ability to get around.
The legal issues are still getting worked out: is it allowed, how much is too much, what are the consequences? A study conducted by the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator and College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy, attempted to study the effects of marijuana on driving.The study confirmed what many believed all along; driving while under the influence of alcohol is more dangerous than operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. That being said, the research may not be as helpful for policymakers in developing marijuana laws for safe driving practices as one would hope. Measuring marijuana is not easy because of THC's metabolic and chemical properties. While marijuana can be detected from saliva, the process is not very reliable. Further research is needed to develop informed policies on safe driving practices and marijuana.