There's been a lot of contradictory information regarding stoned driving out there.
Studies have suggested that the marijuana-impaired motorist is certainly better than the drunk one — that she drives slower and more deliberately. Other reports have concluded that pot-smoking drivers are a growing danger in the age of medical marijuana.
A road test of toasted stoners begs to differ with that last contention:
Following Washington state's legalization of pot, Seattle station KIRO-TV (with video, above, rebroadcast by CNN) decided to test the skills and dangers of stoned drivers on a closed course, with a sheriff's deputy who's a drug-recognition expert keeping a close eye on things.
A 27-year-old named Addy was described as a “heavy daily user” who came prepared to drive with three times the legal pot limit for driving in Washington in her blood stream.
The drivers were given three-tenths of a gram each to smoke on top of that (two other participants came stone-cold sober).
Addy was driving slow and struck a traffic cone. She was at seven times the legal limit during her first pass at the course, according to the report.
“I wouldn't pull her off the road,” the driving instructor says. “Not yet.”
Thirty-four-year-old Dylan was said to have five times the legal limit of pot in his system, but he too drove okay. He laughed behind the wheel and said it was “fun.”
Jeff, 56, was said to be driving slower than normal. He had four times the legal limit of weed in his system. He drove fine, according to the report. “He did real well,” the instructor said.
Testers had participants smoke and drive twice more, with nine-tenths of a gram of pot being smoked by each.
“I don't know if I can get much more stoned,” Jeff says.
Dylan left the road, according to the report. The instructor had the grab the wheel to prevent him from hitting a videographer on another pass. Jeff drove super slow. Addy drove aggressively but “made no major mistakes,” according to the story.
An officer said it would be “borderline” on whether he would have pulled her over or not. Producers let Addy smoke some more — bringing her total toked to 1.4 grams.
“Oh yeah, oh yeah, look at that, that was awesome …,” she said behind the wheel.
Then she backed into a cone.
The drug recognition expert said all three would have been arrested for DUI had they been stopped on public roads; they all failed simulated field sobriety tests on-camera.
But we're still surprised at how well they drove, at least initially.