Cannabis and driving: a new perspective

Emerg Med (Fremantle). 2002 Sep;14(3):296-303.


Cannabis and driving is an emerging injury-prevention concern. The incidence of driving while affected by cannabis is rising in parallel with increased cannabis use in the community. Younger drivers are at particular risk. Improvements in research methodology, technology and laboratory testing methods have occurred in the last 10 years. These cast doubt on earlier results and conclusions. Studies now show that cannabis has a significant impairing effect on driving when used alone and that this effect is exaggerated when combined with alcohol. Of particular concern is the presence of cannabis as the sole psychoactive drug in an increasing number of road fatalities and the lack of any structural response to this problem. A review of testing methods, laboratory and real driving studies, and recent epidemiological studies is presented. Suggestions for methods of further data collection and future public policy are made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Australia
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Dronabinol / blood
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Smoking* / adverse effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects


  • Dronabinol