Why Cannabis & Driving Aren’t The Best Mix
Updated: Nov 1
The West Virginia medical marijuana program has opened the doors for patients with qualifying conditions to access cannabis as medicine.
One conflict that often comes up with cannabis is driving, and patients who on a regulated treatment schedule often have to work their medication schedule around periods where they need to drive.
The effects of cannabis can significantly affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and failing to follow the law even for the first time can leave you with steep fines and even jail time in West Virginia.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about driving and cannabis and why you should stay sober while on the road!
Why Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis is Dangerous
The Penalties for Driving Under the Influence Are the Same for Alcohol in West Virginia
Although the impairment from alcohol and cannabis couldn’t be farther from each other, the penalties for driving under the influence are the same for cannabis or alcohol in West Virginia.
First time offenses can be subject to fines up to $500, jail time for up to 6 months, and a driver’s license suspension of up to six months.
This applies to medical marijuana just as much as it does to alcohol, and you don’t want to find yourself failing a roadside sobriety test.
There’s no tolerance in the law for DUI convictions, and a DUI can stay on your record for 10 years in West Virginia.
Aside from the penalties, the safety of driving under the influence of cannabis versus alcohol is often debated, though regardless of the level of inebriation, it’s clear that cannabis can inhibit both motor function and perception which can make driving after using cannabis dangerous.
Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis is Tough to Measure But Easy to Avoid
Similar to alcohol again, there’s certainly a difference between having 1 beer and having 12 or taking 1 puff versus a whole joint.
That makes it tough to determine sobriety with cannabis, since there isn’t any technology that currently exists to accurately determine the level of inebriation with cannabis at a given time.
Blood tests are available, though they take a long time to process and only indicate that there has been cannabis consumed at some subjective dosage and can’t take into consideration tolerance, frequency of dosage, or the duration of the high.
It’s easy to tell when you’ve used cannabis, however, and judging whether you should drive based on how much cannabis you’ve had is an easy thing to do, simply wait until the effects have worn off completely and you’re good to go!
Cannabis Can Significantly Impair Your Response Time and Perception of Motion
The real problem with driving under the influence of cannabis is how it can affect your ability to perceive and react to your environment, and studies suggest that cannabis can influence this ability.
Your quickness to react and your ability to accurately and precisely measure motion are hyper critical skill sets for driving, and not only can these faculties be suppressed with cannabis, you may not even be aware of how reduced they are.
At the end of the day, you certainly might not think that having one puff will make you incoherently stoned to the point of not being able to think straight, but you may not be aware of the unknown factors that could put other people at risk from you driving under the influence of cannabis.
Even if the potential for risk is lowered by “minimal” levels of intoxication, it’s still off the beaten path of sober, and that makes driving under the influence of cannabis a bad idea for everyone.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in
You can get your medical marijuana certification in West Virginia today by consulting with one of our qualified doctors who can walk you through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. Patients must first be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and then receive a recommendation for a medical marijuana card to be eligible for medical cannabis in West Virginia.
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve
wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.
Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for
our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.