Researchers have shown that acute cannabis consumption can lead to a host of medical issues, including, now, automobile accidents.
In laboratory and simulator settings, cannabis consumption impairs driving skills, but whether the same is true for real-world driving has remained unclear. In a new meta-analysis of nine observational studies involving nearly 50,000 participants, investigators examined whether recent cannabis consumption (determined by toxicologic analysis of whole blood or by self-report) raises risk for motor vehicle accidents.
Driving under the influence of cannabis was associated with significantly higher risk for motor vehicle accidents than driving unimpaired, the researchers found. (The full study, "Acute Cannabis Consumption and Motor Vehicle Collision Risk: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies," is published in the British Medical Journal.)
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Acute cannabis consumption has now been proven to substantially increase the risk for motor vehicle accidents, whether fatal or not. And we are learning that cannabis can lead to a whole host of other medical problems.
There is abundant circumstantial evidence pointing to a plausible biological relationship between marijuana smoking and lung cancer. We may be lacking the smoking gun, but few juries could fail to convict on this evidence.