Monday, October 17, 2011


USA Today - Drivers who get behind the wheel after using marijuana run more than twice the risk of crashing compared to others, a new study finds.  The risk rises even higher if the driver has also been drinking alcohol.   The authors of a study published in Epidemiologic Reviews believe the findings are especially relevant in light of recent moves to legalize medical marijuana in many states.  Even as alcohol use has decreased over the past four decades, illicit use of non-alcoholic drugs, such as prescription medications and marijuana, has increased, said Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.  In their study, Li and his co-authors assessed information from nine prior studies in six countries looking at marijuana use and motor vehicle accidents.  A large U.S. survey in 2009 estimated that more than 10 million people aged 12 and over had driven while under the influence of illicit drugs in the previous year.

And testing has revealed that 28 percent of drivers who die from a crash and more than 11 percent of drivers in general test positive for drugs other than alcohol.   The studies looked at different time frames, with some assessing marijuana use as little as one hour before driving and others looking at one year or more. According to one study cited, driving skills are acutely affected for three to four hours after use.  Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug in drivers after alcohol. Overall, the risk of a crash was almost 2.7 times higher among marijuana users than non-users, the authors found. And the response was dose-specific, the authors said. As marijuana may interfere with reaction times and coordination, among other things, the conclusion is that the more marijuana smoked - in terms of frequency and potency - the greater the likelihood of a crash, experts say.

Smoking or ingesting marijuana is becoming more and more common, and a study from Epidemiologic Reviews shows that drivers who smoke marijuana before getting behind the wheel are at roughly twice the risk of crashing motor vehicles than those who do not smoke marijuana and then drive.  The findings are particularly relevant in the current climate because of the move to legalize marijuana usage in many states of USA.  Apart from these, there are still other more serious effects, which have been revealed in the Vedic scriptures of India.

When we talk about drugs we refer to any stimulant, whether it is from a herb, synthetic chemical or fermented liquid, that influences our nervous system after being drunk, eaten, injected or smelt, which cause a change of consciousness in the consumer. This artificial and temporary change in consciousness manifests many symptoms, which will in general lead to an addictive nature in the consumer. One symptom is that the drug addict looses a principal characteristic of humanity, which is the ability to discriminate between right and wrong; someone under the influence of any type of drug will have the tendency to loose the reasonable conduct that is expected in a civilized society. ... Drugs, in their many forms, are not only obstacles to our wellbeing in the way that they affect our body and mind, but they prevent us from attaining the true purpose in life, which is self-realization. Drugs make it impossible for a person to find his or her true self, the permanent and natural happiness that is our eternal true nature, which is to be found beyond our relative, temporary understandings derived from our range of sense experience.

Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“Yoga vs. Drugs”
“Vedic Wisdom Collection”

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