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The prevalence of cannabis-involved driving in California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Various national surveys suggest that cannabis use is rising nationally and many States have passed legislation that has potential to increase usage even further. This presents a problem for public roadways, as research suggests that cannabis impairs driving ability.

METHODS

Anonymous oral fluid samples and breath tests were obtained from more than 900 weekend nighttime drivers randomly sampled from six jurisdictions in California. Oral fluid samples were assayed for the presence of Schedule I drugs. Drivers also completed information on self-reported drug use and possession of a medical cannabis permit. Data from the 2007 National Roadside Survey (collected using comparable methods) were used as a comparison.

RESULTS

Using the 2010 data, a total of 14.4% of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal drugs, with 8.5% testing positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC-positive rates varied considerably among jurisdictions, from a low of 4.3% in Fresno to a high of 18.3% in Eureka. A comparison with the 2007 NRS data found an increase in THC-positive drivers in 2010, but no increase in illegal drugs other than cannabis. Drivers who reported having a medical cannabis permit were significantly more likely to test positive for THC.

CONCLUSIONS

Cannabis-involved driving has increased in California since 2007. Nearly 1-in-10 weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for THC, and in some jurisdictions, the rate was nearly 1-in-5. The possible contribution of cannabis legislation, such as decriminalization and medical cannabis usage, is discussed.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD 20770, USA. mjohnson@pire.org

    , ,

    Source

    Drug and alcohol dependence 123:1-3 2012 Jun 01 pg 105-9

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Alcohol Drinking
    Automobile Driving
    California
    Cannabinoids
    Data Collection
    Dronabinol
    Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
    Ethnic Groups
    Humans
    Legislation, Drug
    Marijuana Smoking
    Risk
    Socioeconomic Factors
    Street Drugs
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22101027

    Citation

    Johnson, Mark B., et al. "The Prevalence of Cannabis-involved Driving in California." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 123, no. 1-3, 2012, pp. 105-9.
    Johnson MB, Kelley-Baker T, Voas RB, et al. The prevalence of cannabis-involved driving in California. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;123(1-3):105-9.
    Johnson, M. B., Kelley-Baker, T., Voas, R. B., & Lacey, J. H. (2012). The prevalence of cannabis-involved driving in California. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123(1-3), pp. 105-9. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.10.023.
    Johnson MB, et al. The Prevalence of Cannabis-involved Driving in California. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Jun 1;123(1-3):105-9. PubMed PMID: 22101027.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - The prevalence of cannabis-involved driving in California. AU - Johnson,Mark B, AU - Kelley-Baker,Tara, AU - Voas,Robert B, AU - Lacey,John H, Y1 - 2011/11/17/ PY - 2011/08/05/received PY - 2011/10/24/revised PY - 2011/10/25/accepted PY - 2011/11/22/entrez PY - 2011/11/22/pubmed PY - 2012/9/14/medline SP - 105 EP - 9 JF - Drug and alcohol dependence JO - Drug Alcohol Depend VL - 123 IS - 1-3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Various national surveys suggest that cannabis use is rising nationally and many States have passed legislation that has potential to increase usage even further. This presents a problem for public roadways, as research suggests that cannabis impairs driving ability. METHODS: Anonymous oral fluid samples and breath tests were obtained from more than 900 weekend nighttime drivers randomly sampled from six jurisdictions in California. Oral fluid samples were assayed for the presence of Schedule I drugs. Drivers also completed information on self-reported drug use and possession of a medical cannabis permit. Data from the 2007 National Roadside Survey (collected using comparable methods) were used as a comparison. RESULTS: Using the 2010 data, a total of 14.4% of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal drugs, with 8.5% testing positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC-positive rates varied considerably among jurisdictions, from a low of 4.3% in Fresno to a high of 18.3% in Eureka. A comparison with the 2007 NRS data found an increase in THC-positive drivers in 2010, but no increase in illegal drugs other than cannabis. Drivers who reported having a medical cannabis permit were significantly more likely to test positive for THC. CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis-involved driving has increased in California since 2007. Nearly 1-in-10 weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for THC, and in some jurisdictions, the rate was nearly 1-in-5. The possible contribution of cannabis legislation, such as decriminalization and medical cannabis usage, is discussed. SN - 1879-0046 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22101027/abstract/The_prevalence_of_cannabis_involved_driving_in_California_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376-8716(11)00474-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -