On Thursday, the CDC announced the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The health agency announced 12 million American adults said they had driven under the influence of weed in the year before the survey. Approximately 2.3 million say they had driven under the influence of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
Based on the study, nearly 5% of Americans driving under the influence of weed, and almost 1% are driving under the influence of other drugs. The percentage is far smaller than the number of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2018, 8% of drivers said they had a drink before driving.
Men were more likely to report using marijuana or illicit drugs than women. Most of the people were between the ages of 21 to 25 years old, and the second-highest group to report using weed were people between 16 and 20. The authors of the study say the younger demographic “is of special concern,” since newer drivers are still learning how to drive.
The demographic to drive under the influence of marijuana are non-Hispanic multiracial persons at 9.2%, according to the report.
Marijuana is legal in several states across the nation, but driving under the influence is illegal. Studies have shown cannabis can alter judgment and reaction time.
The CDC suggests law enforcement and public health officials develop ways to prevent drug-impaired driving. Currently, there are no national guidelines for marijuana-impaired drivers.
It is important to note, 2017 study found the legalization of recreational marijuana did not increase the number of fatal accidents but states that legalized weed are seeing more crashes.