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Teens driving while high

 Teenagers are driving after smoking weed and many don't think there is any danger in doing so, according to a new survey.

The survey by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions found that 19 percent of teen drivers said they have driven under the influence of marijuana.

More teens are driving after smoking weed than after drinking. Just 13 percent of teens surveyed said they had driven after drinking

Liberty Mutual and SADD said the study, which they have regularly conducted since 2000, highlights a dangerous misconception by teens many teens who don’t consider marijuana a an obstacle to driving.  More than one-third of teens who have driven after using marijuana say the drug does not affect their driving. 

The researchers said that is far from the truth.

“Marijuana affects memory, judgment, and perception and can lead to poor decisions when a teen under the influence of this or other drugs gets behind the wheel of a car,” said Stephen Wallace, senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD.  “What keeps me up at night is that this data reflects a dangerous trend toward the acceptance of marijuana and other substances compared to our study of teens conducted just two years ago.”

Teens attitudes about marijuana have changed in recent  years. In 2009, 78 percent of teens were at the other end of the spectrum and thought that marijuana was “very” or “extremely” distracting to their driving.  The most recent study two years found the percentage ofteens who felt this high level of concern declined to 70 percent.

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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