With the holidays approaching, remember: don’t drive high

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As we approach the holiday season, you could find yourself attending parties and gatherings where cannabis might be a part of the celebration.

It’s important to remember that using non-medical cannabis and getting behind the wheel can be very dangerous and that cannabis impaired driving is against the law.

Drug-impaired driving

Whatever the occasion, don’t drive high or accept rides from people who are impaired by non-medical cannabis, alcohol, or a mix of cannabis and alcohol. Cannabis impairment can affect reaction time, motor skills, and other factors making it a potentially dangerous substance to use before getting behind the wheel.

Effects of THC

Compounds in cannabis like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for intoxication (the ’high’), can sometimes cause unexpected effects that may impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Cannabis consumption may affect:

  • Balance and coordination
  • Motor skills
  • Attention
  • Judgement
  • Reaction time
  • Decision-making skills

Duration of effects of cannabis

If you smoke or vaporize (vape) cannabis, the effects can begin in seconds and may last for several hours, perhaps longer in novice users. If you ingest cannabis in capsule or oil form you may not feel the effects for up to 30 minutes to two hours after consumption, however effects can last up to 12 hours or more.

These effects depend largely on factors including body mass, tolerance, consumption method, product potency, and the amount of the product consumed. Cannabis can impair each person differently, and as a result of these variables, there is no guidance to drivers about how much cannabis can be used before it can become unsafe to drive. Remember that alcohol can increase the impairment of cannabis, so never mix the two.

Plan ahead

Don’t risk driving high at any time, and particularly during the holidays. If you are using any substance that may be intoxicating, arrange a safe ride home with a designated driver or a cab or car service. Plan ahead and use cannabis responsibly.

The penalties for drug-impaired driving can be severe. Learn more about them here.


Source: Health Canada


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