Studies Show Millions Drive Under the Influence—of Marijuana
There is widespread knowledge that driving drunk is dangerous, but why don’t we talk about driving under the influence of drugs? A recent study says millions do drive high from marijuana, cocaine, and meth.
Society has learned the hard way that driving drunk is a huge no-no. However, the conversation about driving high and under the influence of any form of drug is widely under-discussed. However, that does not mean that it’s safe.
The most recent national estimates of drivers under the influence notes that millions are driving high, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One December Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that last year, 12 million American adults said they had driven under the influence of weed in the last 12 months prior to the survey. To make matters worse, about 2.3 million of these said they had driven under the influence of illicit drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine.
This means that 4.7 percent of Americans drive under the influence of marijuana, and 0.9 percent drive under the influence of other drugs, according to a CNN article. While these numbers are indeed lower than the rate at which people drove while intoxicated (at 8 percent of drivers) in 2018, the fact of the matter still remains: people are driving high.
Some demographics and ages are more likely than others to drive under the influence of drugs. Males were more likely to report using marijuana or drugs than female drivers. People between the ages of 21 and 25 were most likely to use pot before driving. The second highest group to report using weed were, unsurprisingly, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20. It’s important to note that teen driving under the influence of marijuana is of “special concern” since newer drivers already have a heightened risk of causing accidents because of their inexperience on the road.
The survey also found that non-Hispanic, multiracial persons were most likely to drive under the influence at 9.2 percent.