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Marijuana is going to become legal in Canada in a few days (October 17, 2018). Here is a timley question. What do you know about the affects of marijuana on human behavior and performance? Well, linked below is a review article from the journal Forensic Science with that exact title and it contains, I would bet, more information that you feel you need to know about issues of impairment, testing, medicinal uses and much more related to Cannabis (Marijuana). While you may not wish to read the whole article I would suggest that you take a few moments and think about what you do and do not know about the affects of marijuana on driving and on flying (among pilots, not metaphorically or poetically speaking) and then download the article and at least read through the section on impairment starting on page 33 and see how what you know or think you know about that topic relates to what there is to know.

Source: Cannabis (Marijuana) – Effects on Human Behavior and Performance, M. A. Huestis, Intermural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Mental Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Date: October 14, 2018

Photo Credit: Toronto Star File Photo

Article Link:

So, how did what you knew or thought you knew about the impact of marijuana on human performance stack up against the data summarized in the review article? The research reviewed in the article clearly indicates that there are problems with toking and driving world-wide. What is also clear that it is difficult to figure out just how we should define and assess that impairment for regulatory (enforcement) purposes. But, while that work is still ongoing a simple message is already clear in the research done to date. Don’t toke and drive (or fly)!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are the three ways in which the questions of the impact of alcohol and/ or marijuana on human functioning have been addressed in research?
  2. Of the three ways in which these questions have been looked at which one did you find the most compelling (or interesting)?
  3. What additional research do we need to do to get the questions in this area sorted out?

References (Read Further):

Huestis, M. A. (2002). Cannabis (Marijuana)- Effects on Human Behavior and Performance. Forensic science review, 14(1), 15-60.

Compton, R. P. (2017). Marijuana-impaired driving-a report to congress (No. DOT HS 812 440). United States. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Davis, S. J., & Sloas, K. L. (2017). Driving while High: College Student Beliefs And Behaviors. Journal of Addictive Behaviors, Therapy & Rehabilitation, 2017.

Leadbeater, B. J., Ames, M. E., Sukhawathanakul, P., Fyfe, M., Stanwick, R., & Brubacher, J. R. (2017). Frequent marijuana use and driving risk behaviours in Canadian youth. Paediatrics & child health, 22(1), 7-12.