More people admit to driving high as states legalize marijuana, survey says


(CBS News) – As more states legalize marijuana, more people admit driving while high – and most Americans think those drivers will never get caught.

A new survey from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety finds nearly 15 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within an hour after using marijuana.

Drivers we spoke to are not surprised, but they are concerned.

“Oh yeah, I know a lot of people that do that. It’s kinda stupid,” says Marissa Guillen.

“Lots of things can happen on the road. You need your wits about you,” says Vincent Mann.

The report from AAA says nearly 70% of Americans believe it’s unlikely drivers high on marijuana will get caught. But the Automobile Association points out that police are getting more sophisticated.

AAA spokesperson Rachel Sturm says, “You can get caught if you are driving under the influence, and also regardless of if marijuana is legal in your state, it’s not legal for you to get behind the wheel impaired.”

In Los Angeles, drug-related DUI arrests shot up 32% after marijuana was legalized for recreational use last year.

Officer Kamaron Sardar is a drug recognition expert with the LAPD. He says marijuana impairs critical driving skills, “It affects depth perception. Ioffit affects memory and concentration.”

The LAPD says drivers should wait 8 hours after smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel.

AAA says millennials are the most likely to drive within an hour of smoking marijuana.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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