A group of researchers from Colorado is looking for a group of volunteers to conduct practical tests on the effect of hemp intoxication on the reaction rate of drivers. According to local media that issued the search for volunteers, participants in the experiment will receive substantial monetary compensation for participating in the study, however, they will be required to provide their own cannabis for the experience, since federal laws prohibit scientists from purchasing plants for their experiments from private sources. Ashley Brooks-Russell, an assistant professor at the Medical School at the University of Colorado, Anschutz, is one of the leaders of this project.
“The main objective of the study is a practical analysis of the behavior and reaction rate of the body of drivers who are in a state of hemp intoxication,”
— says Miss Brooks-Russell about the experiment .
The second leaders of the experiment, Mikhail Cosnett, who is a toxicology professor, notes that physicians have studied in some detail the psychological and physiological state of people who get into the car while intoxicated, however, such studies have not yet been conducted with respect to legal cannabis.
“Of course, some types of psychoactive substances can strongly influence the reaction rate of the driver of transport. In particular, alcohol is a classic example of such a substance, the use of which at times complicates the control of the car, creating a real risk to the life and health of the driver and the people around him, ”says Dr. Cousnett. “However, we still don’t know how much marijuana really affects the reaction rate of the driver of transport, despite the fact that it has been legal for 5 years already.”
In the course of the experiment, researchers will first evaluate the experience and driving talents of volunteers in a sober state. In addition to standard driving tests, scientists will use VR glasses technology to evaluate the reaction rate of the eyes of volunteers, as well as game tests on electronic tablets that take into account the speed of coordination between eyes and hands . In particular, scientists believe that if such types of tests will reveal the degree of intoxication of drivers, local police will be able to adopt them in the fight against drunk drivers.
“It is quite possible that such simple tests for reaction and coordination will become our main tool in the fight against drunk cannabis drivers on the roads of our state,”
— notes Miss Brooks-Roussel.
THC consumption limits:
Unlike alcohol, the concentration of cannabinoid metabolites in blood or other body fluids is not an accurate determiner of the level of human intoxication, since such substances are very slowly excreted from the human body and its tissues. Despite this fact, the Colorado authorities have set an acceptable limit on the concentration of cannabinoid metabolites at 5 nanograms of THC and less . Many Colorado physicians, such as Dr. Tyler Proc, believe that such a limit is an unrealistic and impractical measure of restriction.
“Such a limit, in fact, completely prohibits people who use marijuana for therapeutic purposes, to get behind the wheel. The fact is that even after a single use of cannabis, even a product containing at least THC, traces of metabolites of this cannabinoid will be detected by standard police tests over the next 30 days, ”notes Dr. Proc. “It turns out that all existing tests used by the police will be able to detect the presence of cannabis metabolites in the driver’s body, even if the person used marijuana a few days before the test.”
Dr. Proc himself said that as a consumer of medical marijuana, he regularly drives after using the plant, however, he never gets behind the wheel while intoxicated.
“You can say that I used marijuana almost daily for the past 7 years,” says the doctor. “Despite this, I never got into an accident or conflict with the police. I received the last speeding ticket about 10 years ago, even before I began to use cannabis regularly.”
“Don’t say that, using marijuana only helps me to concentrate on the road, because back pain doesn’t bother me because of an old injury,” he notes.
Participants in the experiment will visit the laboratory twice a week in the city of Aurora for the next couple of months. For each testing session, volunteers will receive $ 140. More detailed information about the experiment, as well as the test results will be displayed on the website of the University of Colorado.