Cannabis: Driving Under The Influence

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management states, “Cannabis is legal in New York for adults 21 and older.”

Cannabis or marijuana refers to the dried leaves, stems, flowers, or seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant.  It contains the psychoactive or mind-altering chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD).

Although the use of cannabis is permissible for adults 21 and older, that does not mean it can be smoked or consumed anywhere you want.  Cannabis must be used responsibly and according to law.

According to the NYS Office of Cannabis Management, “Cannabis can be consumed in a private home or at a state-licensed on-site consumption site (coming soon). The smoking of cannabis is prohibited anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited.”

It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. There is a direct link between THC blood level concentration and impaired driving. THC can impair important skills needed to drive safely.  It is known to distort perception, and slow motor coordination and reaction times.

In addition to impairing driving abilities, the use of cannabis can have negative health effects. Some of which are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Impaired memory
  • Difficulty thinking and problem solving
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing problems
  • Changes in mood
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Severe nausea and vomiting

Cannabis affects everyone differently. Therefore, it should never be used before driving, operating heavy machinery, or making important decisions. The NYS Office of Cannabis Management also recommends that those who are, “pregnant or breast feeding, have been diagnosed or are predisposed to having a serious mental illness, have a history of respiratory or cardiovascular illness, or are currently taking any prescription medication,” consult a physician before consuming.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.