AAA’s stance on cannabis
AAA opposes the legalization of cannabis for recreational use because of its inherent traffic-safety risks and because it’s difficult to create legislation and enforcement that both protects the public and treats drivers fairly.
Seven states have set limits on the amount of THC a driver can have in their system, analogous to blood-alcohol levels. This might seem like a good idea, but it’s problematic because, at this time, no data reliably show what level of THC impairs driving, and THC testing often cannot be done until hours after a crash. Cannabis can also be detected in the bloodstream weeks after its ingestion.
AAA is committed to educating the public about the risks of substance-impaired driving. Through AAA Foundation research, AAA is working to improve our understanding of drugged driving and is working collaboratively with safety organizations to reduce the impact of substance-impaired crashes. AAA also supports increased training for law-enforcement officers to better detect and address drug-impaired driving.
Here are some safety tips from AAA regarding cannabis usage:
- The impairing effects of cannabis usually occur in the first 4 hours after usage. If you use cannabis, don’t drive during that time period or afterward if you continue to feel any effects from the drug.
- Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been consuming cannabis.
If you host a party where cannabis is used, always remember:
- Make sure your guests designate a sober driver in advance.
- It’s illegal to offer cannabis to anyone under age 21.
- Keep phone numbers handy for sober ride services.
Finally, remember that the first-offense costs of being convicted for driving under the influence of cannabis (or alcohol) can be more than $21,000 in fines, court costs, legal fees, and other penalties, and can also result in the loss of your driver’s license, your job, and possible jail time.
Even more important, you could cause injury or death to yourself or another person—the effects of which never go away.