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Discussion Starter #1
I am not against the legalization of cannabis.

However, the following article concerns me and I am looking forward to reading the comments from others.

Please keep it serious. Thanks

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Impaired on pot 5 hrs later

The Canadian Press - Oct 15, 2018 / 11:31 am | Story: 239210

Photo: The Canadian Press
McGill University researchers have found that driving under the influence of cannabis remains dangerous for up to five hours after use.

In research published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the study found subjects who consumed cannabis were at a greater risk of crashing a vehicle.

The peer-reviewed study used a driving simulator to assess the effects of smoking cannabis on recreational users aged 18 to 24. It found impairment from a regular dose was significant when people were confronted with complex driving tasks.

A majority of the participants reported they did not consider themselves to be safe to drive five hours after using the drug.

The results are published as Canada prepares for the legalization of recreational cannabis use Wednesday.

The study was conducted with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and funded by the Canadian Automobile Association.
 

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Let's put this in context here first...

"Young people who use cannabis and drive are at greater risk of being involved in a vehicular collision even if five hours have elapsed since inhaling it, according to a McGill University study published Monday."

"The clinical trial examined the effects of cannabis on driving reflexes among occasional consumers aged 18 to 24 years."

A group of 45, not exactly ground breaking studies.
This is the highest risk group of drivers to start.

Young drivers who use cannabis at higher risk of collisions for at least 5 hours, McGill finds | CBC News
 

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According to the doctor on CBC this am THC can remain in your system up to 28 DAYS! It's apparently stored in your fat cells and metabolizes differently from person to person.
 

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Intake has a bearing on this too.

The difference between a regular smoker and someone that doesn't, or rarely smokes will be vast.
Two of these types smoking the same amount will have totally different outcomes.

Not to mention that some are just better drivers than others.
 

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That's a crock.

Also there was a better study (video documented) where they made people drive an obstacle course repeatedly. First time sober for baseline, then a joint/bong rip before every next try (getting higher each time). They were not able to find any decrease in performance, if anything it showed increased caution in the first few times (after that people knew the course a bit and were bored so that levelled off). They were so frustrated with the results that they kept making them go again to the point that the test subjects started complaining that they did not want to smoke anymore (too baked; these were not noobs, but seasoned stoners). They were only able to find evidence of diminished capacity after this point, when the test subjects resisted smoking more.

Part of the issue here is bad studies. I busted my foot slipping on ice cutting through the park on my bike a few years back - when I went to emerg there was a person doing a pot impairmennt study. Do you know what the question was? Did you consume cannabis in the last week before the accident. Like are they serious? The reason for these biased studies is because law enforcement (and MADD and similar groups) are freaking out so they have to villify it to make it enforceable. See also the 25 (or was it 28) day ban on TO cops smoking before a shift (so basically none of them can ever smoke unless they're on sabbatical - I got news for the Cheif; half your force toke at least weekly already).

Another issue is not making a distinction between noob users and seasoned tokers; the reaction/effects are not the same, especially when it comes to driving or other similar multi-disciplinary tasks.

@sulphur also makes a good point. That age group is at the highest risk anyway, and I would add they are also likely to be noob tokers (in addition to noob drivers).
 

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According to the doctor on CBC this am THC can remain in your system up to 28 DAYS! It's apparently stored in your fat cells and metabolizes differently from person to person.
It can and it will, but that doesn't mean that you're under the influence for that entire time, or at all for that matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are there any proposed guideline for cannabis "consumption" and driving?

Links to articles/info would be fine.
 

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Understood, but how do you prove it if you have an accident and it is found in your system?
There's a threshold of some sort, not sure of the teminology.
Probably set so low that my cats will blow over if tested.

That's one of the myths of weed. Yes it stays in your system, no you are not still stoned because it's still in your system.
 

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It can and it will, but that doesn't mean that you're under the influence for that entire time, or at all for that matter.
Exactly. It's been metabolised, but the substances THC/CBD break down to are detectable in blood tests for a month or sometimes more (if you have higher fat content in your body for example, or were a heavy user etc). This is why people get busted for cannabis (e.g. in workplace drug tests) and not for cocaine (which is gone/undetectable after something like 2 days). Another policy that disproportionately affects lower income/racialised people (vs managers and stock brokers who are lousey with the blow, and which, IMHO, is a much worse drug, both categorically as well for them specifically to be using at work, to the point that I avoid even socialising with people I know are users).

Same with tobacco smoke FYI - they can detect (from blood tests) that you are (were) a smoker up to 6 months after your last butt. Insurance companies rely on this when you are looking for a pre-underwritten policy.
 

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I think both the medical scientific community, and those who report on them, have t do a much better job on clarifying the many forms of impairment. The impairment of excessive alcohol or hallucinogens is not the same as the impairment of other substances. Take a swig of Nyquil for a cold, and your thinking may not be "impaired" in the way that a drunk is, or one's 103 year-old dementing grandmother might be, but your processing of information IS affected.

All of us older farts here - and there are many of us - also think of ourselves as terrific drivers. Our "impairment" is the normal age-related slowing in reaction time that is one of the only reliably-documented and predictable changes with age. What we used to be able to do/decide/react to in 600msec when we were the age of the test subjects, we now take twice as long to do, if not more.

When one has all the time in the world, we're not "impaired". When we have to make speeded decisions - particularly under circumstances of information overload - we ARE. That said, we also know from many many studies that expertise accrued with age in a psychomotor skill can offset more general age-related slowing. This is most often documented nicely in studies of typing, where older adult former secretaries who may show expected slowing in other areas, can continue to type like the blazes well into their 9th decade. Less studied, because it is not as readily measurable, would be the speed we see on much older jazz musicians. So expertise in an area, and the highly practised and automatized skills, can survive and compensate for more general slowing.

A 22 year-old lacks that accrued skill in driving, and only has the slowing effects of weed. If they are content to drive the side-streets at 40kph, then driving an hour after smoking is no problem, because they are not "impaired" in the sense of being unable to concentrate or evaluate situations accurately and respond to them appropriately, and in a timely fashion. The problem and risk arises when they are placed in a much higher-speed situation (like the 401 during rush hour) when much faster reaction time and speeded decision-making is required to negotiate all the information overload that keeping track of signage, and the bozos trying to pass you and cut in front on BOTH your left and right without signalling, can dump on one's brain. In effect, what is harder for the older driver will also be harder for younger driver who has toked up.

Yes, yes, I know there will be deniers - "I've been smoking every day for 30 years and I've never had an accident" - but the data, the big data, don't lie. What many don't grasp is the nature of risk. If something normally happens once in ten thousand times, but happens 8 times in ten thousand under another set of circumstances, then the risk is increased eightfold. Not everyone, or even everyone who smokes, dies of lung cancer, but we know that smoking dramatically increases the statistical risk. Driving stoned, even with the buzz subjectively wearing off, increases risk.

As for the persuasiveness of the study, let me ask you. If you needed an organ transplant, and someone told you that in a study of 45 people, transplants increased the lifespan of those people by 10 years, would your response be "I dunno, it was only 45 people". No, you would say "Put me on the gurney and wheel me in". Some modest-sized studies can be pretty damn compelling despite their sample size. What may limit the generality of the findings concerns the context the results were obtained in rather than the size of the sample. If the driving simulator was a poor simulation, or unrealistically demanding in some fashion, then one has the right to be sceptical, but not because of the sample size.
 

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Let's take 45 terrible drivers and get them stoned to show that they're terrible drivers when they're stoned, can be one way of looking at it too.
 

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Must be nice. If I smoke a full Blunt of primo weed, I might get a 45 minute buzz. 5 hours? Where can I get some of that?
 
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