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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Cannabis does not significantly impair driving: study

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Nimbin’s Hemp Embassy is calling on police across Australia to ‘back off’ following the publication of a study that found cannabis use caused almost no impairment on driving.

The study found that the impairment that it did cause was similar to that observed under the influence of a legal alcohol limit.

Researchers at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator carried out the study, sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The study, which was published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, also found that participants who consumed only alcohol weaved more during a 35- to 45-minute simulated driving test than those who consumed only vaporized cannabis.

Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone.

Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone, who also leads the Australian HEMP Party, welcomed the study.

‘Finally some research to show how silly and damaging the saliva testing of cannabis drivers can be,’ Mr Balderstone said.

‘Many, many people have been punished severely losing their licence when their driving was never impaired.

‘Many lost their jobs as a result of this as well.

‘Hopefully the police across Australia will do the right thing now and back off. The issue re driving is impairment, surely…no matter what drugs or not you have in your system.’

The study found that, as expected, there was impairment in all areas when alcohol and cannabis were mixed.

‘But cannabis itself, when taken in moderate amounts, seems to cause no significant driving impairment.
In fact, some would argue that it makes them drive safer or slower,’ the study authors said.

‘The study’s findings further illuminate the fact that alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than cannabis, and somehow the former is legal while the latter is not.’

You can read more about the study’s results here.


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  1. Nothing new there ,
    similar studies, done in the sixties, showed little or no impairment with improved concentration and studies since then show clearly that if a skill is learned while influenced by any drug ,the performance will be better if influenced by that original drug in subsequent tests.
    Cheers G”)

  2. Great to see truth for a change. Other studies have shown the same, including automotive insurance companies in the USA.
    The Australian govts and police need to end their ignorant and unjust actions, that occur no where else on planet.
    This plant has many benefits and needs to be made available to help people.

    Have knowledgable dispensaries, as they have had overseas for many years, and take BIG pHARMa out of control in Australia who stop access for their profits.

    Enforcing lies for opposing profits that cause useless suffering and death by govt and police are whats criminal.
    The current situation is based on lies for profits to a few already the most wealthy,and is unjust, absurd, useless, and must end.
    As with Commonwealth Canada, this plant needs to be made fully legal for all use here in Commonwealth Australia too.
    There are no awards for blatant govt and police stupidity and bought offs, that hurts and kills citizens under the current idiots delight regime..just for profits to a few, a seriously bad piece of corruption and ignorance.

  3. back in the late 60’s early 70’sthere was a ‘psychology today” magazine article about a research project on
    driving impairment, testing pot and straight drivers. the pot drivers did actually better that the drivers who were completely with out any additional influence

  4. those in Nimbin may show signs of delayed reaction as the study was published 23rd of June 2015, maybe a case of “I was stoned and I missed it”

    • I think that’d apply to more than just “those in Nimbin”…….I see people posting and referring to many reports from years ago. This doesn’t mean they’re no longer relevant or that they’re stoned. If anything, it only proves that it obviously hasn’t been discredited and is still valid. But sounds like you like your mainstream media version of how to view and judge “those in Nimbin”. Think there’s a job for you with a bloke called Rupert.

  5. Like many, I have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers while under the influence of pot. I drive 30,000 km per annum on average. I have never had an accident that was my fault in 43 years of driving. I am always focused on safety. When can we get real about pot? Alcohol is the dangerous drug.

  6. Can we please channel sorely needed Police $$$ into the devastating ICE epidemic instead of persecuting gentle puffers. For goodness sake, cease this absurdly wasteful spending of limited funds on helicopters and other stupidity. ICE is going crazy. Wake up, government!

  7. For people that smoke everyday,yes most can drive normally and function normally but for gods sake dont let me drive when i have a smoke as my driving skills go out the window due to the fact that i only smoke once a blue moon !

  8. The blood alcohol limit in Iowa is .08 higher than we allow for full license drivers and much higher the zero allowed for P players and car, bus and plane operators . We need to be moving to zero acceptance of car deaths not away from it.
    This study found there was impairment and greater impairment combined with alcohol. It is politically difficult to tighten the .05 regimem for private car use but that is hardly argument to liberalise dui of substance that is commonly used with alcohol and for which there is good empirical of a correlation with crashes. As a cyclist I find this acceptance of levels of risk by some car users quite callous.

  9. I think its stupidity the testing They are doing now, please make some real testing equipment. If you smoke at 10oclock in the evening, driving 0700. THATS not dangerous, and potpeople are probably better driver than most people. But people, regardless of limits, just to be safe wait 6-8 hours after smoking before driving. I would not smoke minutes before driving, Even if its safe. Its going to be legal worldwide soon, dont make a bad reputation on it by smoking and driving, please smoke and fly, or smoke and take the bus, Bike, walk or Take a cab all of you good people out there! And all people who is reading this which never smoked, smokers are normal hardworking people most if them. Its some people wich take acouple of beer in the weekend, normal them too. But some become alcoholic and some starting to smoke all day, its the same thing except a potsmoker can stop smoking over night without any problem. Just a desition of themself, I did after my young period of acouple years of smoking.
    No problem at all. Legalize now, dont let the druglords take the money. Our gouverments probably wouldnt mind Extra millions in the «pot». But ice, extacy, speed, herion and more They should use all the money They earlier used to prevent pot flooding the streets to stop those dangerous drugs wich are destroying people. And please remember, it cures and prevent cancer if you or a friend of yours Get sick.

  10. Maybe the Govt could start experimenting and saving peoples lives by actually working the laws in Tennant Creek it looks like they are all just Grand standing. !!!
    get the booze out and bring the Happy Baccy in. .. that’s just bloody DISGRACEFUL. and heartbreaking watching on tele what the hell is going on up there. Every establishment in the city’s have to abide by the alcohol rules and regulations. Why do they not up thete. ????
    REALLY. !!! ?????
    So where do the lawmakers and publicans have their hands. ??
    Or is it more of
    So sad too bad.. ..???
    Get the Vending machines out with Pot in them..
    They ought to he ashamed of themselves providing a so called service.

  11. there is a breath analysis device that measures not only alcohol but also THC levels so now it IS possible to check drivers fairly. What is needed now is for the government to organise a study equivalent to that which would of been undertaken for alcohol breath testing – i.e. what is the acceptable limit which has been based on 0.05 once this study has been undertaken then an acceptable THC level can be legislated and testing can begin. then we can move onto more important issues like the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes!


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