Marijuana, Alcohol and Driving

Is it safe to use marijuana and alcohol at the same time?

  • No.
  • Marijuana used with alcohol results in further impairment to thinking, behaviour and coordination.
  • Mixing drugs with alcohol is never a good idea. This also includes both prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Source: Parent Action on Drugs, 2000

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Is it OK to drive under the influence of marijuana?

  • No.
  • Marijuana affects the ability to judge distances and slows reaction time.
  • It can impair judgement, coordination and concentration
  • Marijuana use impairs the ability to perform complex tasks, such as driving a car.
  • "Drive sober" does not just include alcohol , but other substances and medications that could impair your thinking, behaviour and coordination.

Source: Parent Action on Drugs, 2000

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Is there a road-side screening test for marijuana use while driving?

  • No, there is not a reliable, non-intrusive roadside testing method at this time.
  • A blood test is the best way to determine if a person has used marijuana.
  • Urine cannot screen for recent use.
  • Saliva is promising, but rapid commercial tests are not yet reliable enough.
  • Police officers looking for red eyes, the smell of pot and lack of coordination have had satisfactory results.

Source: Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy, Report of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 2003

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