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August 14, 1972

Marihuana and Automobile Driving

Author Affiliations

Metropolitan Dade County Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1972;221(7):714. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200200060025

To the Editor.—  The report in INTERNATIONAL COMMENTS (220:139, 1972) pertaining to the adverse influence of marihuana on driving exemplifies a problem which has been minimized in the discussions over legalization of the drug. In the above report, emanating from West Germany, test subjects had marked deterioration in driving ability after having smoked marihuana. This lends credence to the report previously published,1 wherein college students familiar with the effects of driving under the influence of marihuana were queried as to their attitudes. The majority of former users felt that their performances were downgraded in regard to speed estimation, distance perception, ability to keep the vehicle under control, and ability to respond to emergency situations. These observations were corroborated from the tape-recorded observations of two drivers who elected to drive upon an expressway while under the influence of the drug.2 In one of these instances, the driver was forced