Cannabis and Driving Performance

"Several studies have examined cannabis use in driving simulator and on-road situations. The most comprehensive review was done by Smiley in 1986 and then again in 1999. Several trends are evident and can be described by three general performance characteristics:
"1. Cannabis increased variability of speed and headway as well as lane position (Attwood, Williams, McBurney, & Frecker, 1981; Ramaekers, Robbe, & O'Hanlon, 2000; Robbe, 1998; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley, Moskowitz, & Zeidman, 1981; Smiley, Noy, & Tostowaryk, 1987). This was more pronounced under high workload and unexpected conditions, such as curves and wind gusts.
"2. Cannabis increased the time needed to overtake another vehicle (Dott, 1972 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]) and delayed responses to both secondary and tracking tasks (Casswell, 1977; Moskowitz, Hulbert, & McGlothlin,
1976; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981).
"3. Cannabis resulted in fewer attempts to overtake another vehicle(Dott, 1972) and larger distances required to pass (Ellingstad et al., 1973 [as cited in Smiley, 1986]). Evidence of increased caution also included slower speeds (Casswell, 1977; Hansteen, Miller, Lonero, Reid, & Jones, 1976; Krueger & Vollrath, 2000; Peck, Biasotti, Boland, Mallory, & Reeve, 1986; Sexton et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1981; Stein, Allen, Cook, & Karl, 1983) and larger headways (Robbe, 1998; Smiley et al., 1987)."


Laberge, Jason C., Nicholas J. Ward, "Research Note: Cannabis and Driving -- Research Needs and Issues for Transportation Policy," Journal of Drug Issues (Tallahassee, FL: School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 2004) Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 974-5.