Marijuana users feel doping and driving is safe

State Farm survey finds Canadian becoming more accepting of marijuana use.

One out of four survey respondents say that their views on marijuana have changed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his promise to legalize marijuana, according to a State Farm Canada survey. And of those whose views have changed, nearly 70% feel that marijuana use has become more acceptable.

One in 10 respondents admit they have driven under the influence of marijuana (45% within the past 12 months), but nearly half of this group say they don’t believe marijuana impacts their ability to drive safely. This is an increase of 5% from 2016, but also shows that users have a very different view of driving while high than the rest of the population. When the same question was asked of Canadians in general, 73% felt that marijuana use would impair the skills necessary to drive.

“It’s clear that those who admit to driving while under the influence of marijuana don’t believe it’s as dangerous as those who don’t. With legalization now imminent the need for more public education and awareness is clear. Marijuana is a drug and, like alcohol, it affects your abilities and senses,” says John Bordignon, media relations, State Farm Canada. “Law enforcement and the legal system need the necessary tools and laws in place to ensure the safety of all Canadians on our roads.”

Some findings:

  • 80% say they are concerned about people driving under the influence of marijuana
  • 83% feel there is not enough information available about the risks associated with driving under the influence of marijuana
  • Three out of four don’t believe, or are unsure, that police have the tools and resources to identify marijuana-impaired drivers
  • 38% believe that stiffer penalties would discourage people the most from driving while high. This is closely followed by stronger road side testing (30%) which jumped up by 11% when compared to the 2016 survey
  • 75% said that people who drive while high should have the same legal penalties as those who drink and drive
  • 73% believe that people who drive high should be charged with impaired driving
  • 68% do not feel that the Canadian legal system has made progress over the past year to deal with people who drive under the influence of marijuana, whether in the form of testing, legislation or public awareness

The survey also revealed that 86% of Canadians say they have not driven under the influence of a drug, whether prescription or illicit. However, 14% of respondents admit they have driven under the influence of a prescription or over-the-counter drug that was a stimulant or sedative, and 7% of respondents say they have driven under the influence of an opioid (narcotic) medication.

Seventy-five per cent of Canadians worry about people driving under the influence of prescription drugs. When asked what age group people associate with prescription drug-impaired driving, respondents were split between people aged 16-25 (27%) and people aged 55 and over (27%). Interestingly, respondents in these two age groups associated their own age bracket with prescription drug-impaired driving the most.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.