Drugged Driving: Young Drivers Going to Pot

Twenty percent of drivers in grades 10 through 12 admitted to driving within an hour of smoking marijuana, according to a recent survey of Ontario students. That compared to only 14% who reported they had driven after consuming two alcoholic drinks.

Transport Canada reports that using pot can impair essential driving skills. Although alcohol use continues to drop among young people in North America, marijuana use continues to increase.

Although it is illegal in Canada, there is much evidence that it is both widespread but largely undetected. Body-fluid tests are voluntary and there isn't any machine like an alcohol breath tester to check drug use. Those who die while driving are automatically tested for alcohol in their blood, but not necessarily for marijuana or other drugs.

Many young people in North America have reported using marijuana instead of alcohol because it is almost impossible to detect. And because of crackdowns on selling alcoholic beverages to young people, marijuana has become easier to obtain than alcohol.

In Canada, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) has launched a major national drive against drug-impaired driving.


  • Gordon, Andrea. Young drivers go to pot. Toronto Star, February 10, 2006.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving