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AMA warns of dangers of edible cannabis and driving

Last Updated Dec 5, 2019 at 10:51 am MDT

Edible cannabis products for sale at 4/20 at Sunset Beach in 2019. (Source: Monika Gul/NEWS 1130)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A new survey shows many Albertans are confused about the risks of cannabis and driving.

The survey, released by the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), shows one in five drivers admitted they were unsure of the effects of edibles when it came to driving.

Jeff Kasbrick with the AMA said the high you get from edible cannabis can catch you by surprise.

“An edible high is just as real as a high that you may get from either smoking or vaping cannabis. A quarter of all Albertans who responded to this survey said that they didn’t know how the risks of edible cannabis compared to smoking or vaping cannabis.”

Around 45 per cent of responders to the survey assumes edibles pose the same risk as other cannabis products while five-per-cent think edibles are safer for drivers than smoked or vaped cannabis.

A similar study in Ontario showed 72 per cent of cannabis users got behind the wheel within three hours of consumption.

Kasbrick said Alberta has one of the highest rates of cannabis use so it’s likely that trend is happening here too. He adds the ambiguity around edibles could increase cases of drug-impaired driving.

“There’s simply too much uncertainty about edibles and the risks they pose to drivers. The fact is, just like other forms of cannabis, they affect your reaction time, attention span, coordination and decision-making, virtually everything required to drive. It’s just not worth the risk to get behind the wheel if you consume.”

Nearly 1,200 AMA members took part in the survey from between Sept. 25 and Oct. 11.