Marijuana Legalization May Cloud Teens’ Perception About Driving Under The Influence.

Last week, for the very first time, residents of Colorado lined up outside a dozen marijuana stores to legally purchase the drug. The legalization of the drug, and accompanying debates, may be causing teenagers to underestimate the dangers of driving with marijuana in their system.

Parents are being advised to sit down with their teenagers to explain the key difference between “legal” and “safe.” Although marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, and de-criminalized in other states including Massachusetts, the legal age to purchase is still 21 years-old. Moreover, teenagers’ brains are still developing, and marijuana use at this delicate stage in development can be harmful. According to studies, even after abstaining from marijuana use for 30 days, heavy teenage users still exhibited subtle defects in attention, executive function and memory.

Nonetheless, the legalization and associated debates may have clouded teenagers’ ability to recognize the dangers of marijuana usage. While the designated driver used to be the person who refrained from alcohol that night, the phrase’s definition has since been distorted. According to reports, many teens today rely on the teenager who drank the least amount of alcohol, or who only smoked that night, to drive. This is a dangerous distinction. Marijuana has been found to adversely affect drivers’ attentiveness, perception of speed and time, and the ability to draw on information obtained from past experiences.

According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions, nearly 25% of teens admit to driving while somewhat intoxicated. Of those who reported having driven while under the influence of marijuana, 75% did not believe it impaired their driving, while 34% actually believed it improved their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The statistics, however, are clear: after alcohol, marijuana is the second most common substance found in the blood of impaired drivers. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still driving under the influence under the law.

Teenagers and adults who drive under the influence put themselves, their passengers and other motorists at risk for serious personal injuries and death. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a Massachusetts car accident, and you would like to find out whether you have a claim for personal injury damages or wrongful death damages, please call 617-787-3700 or email, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to speak with a highly skilled Massachusetts drunk driver personal injury attorney, Massachusetts personal injury attorney or Massachusetts wrongful death attorney.

If you would like to talk to an expert in Massachusetts personal injury law, don’t wait a second longer. Call 617-787-3700 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our expert  Massachusetts motor vehicle accident attorneys, Boston accident lawyers or Boston, MA wrongful death lawyers.

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