HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Dont Toke And Drive Campaign Begins
Pubdate: Tue, 22 Nov 2005
Source: Sarnia Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Sun Media Corporation, a Quebecor Media company
Author: Matt Carter, Toronto Sun
Bookmark: (Cannabis and Driving)


Campaign Aims At Teens Behind Wheel

There's little doubt that smoking pot impairs a person's ability to drive.

It slows reaction time, muddles thinking and disturbs the ability to judge 

But if you ask teenagers, it's not so clear.

"For just in-town driving, it's perfectly fine," said Justin, an 18-year 
old from Toronto who didn't want his last name used. "I know how to handle 
my pot."

That what the Canadian Public Health Association hopes to combat with its 
Pot and Driving campaign, which launched yesterday.

The goal is to get young Canadians -- some of the most prolific pot smokers 
in the world -- to put pot in the same category as alcohol when it comes to 

The campaign poster, to be displayed in schools and libraries across the 
country, shows two airline pilots smoking pot, with the caption:"If it 
doesn't make sense here, why does it makes sense when you drive?"

"We're trying to dispel the the myths around pot and driving," said Elinor 
Wilson, of the CPHA.

A recent Canadian study showed that 15% of senior high school students had 
smoked pot and driven in the past year, and those people were four times as 
likely as their peers to have been involved in an accident. Researchers 
can't establish that pot causes accidents, because police in Canada don't 
have an accurate roadside test for marijuana.

"There's no doubt (pot) is a problem," Toronto Police Supt. Steve Grant 
said. "We see the gamut, from someone who rolls through a red light at a 
very slow speed, to fatal collisions."

Justin, who said he smokes pot and drives regularly, has even had an 
accident while driving stoned. A friend was teaching him to drive a stick 
shift in a parking lot.

"I was too fast with the clutch and we hit a wall. The whole right side of 
the car was pretty much gone," he said.

But he blames the clutch.
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