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Massachusetts RMV to add marijuana information to driver's education programs

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By Michael P. Norton, State House News Service

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DECEMBER 12, 2022 (State House News Service) - Massachusetts will be the first recreational-use cannabis state in the nation to adopt a curriculum to educate teens on cannabis-impaired driving.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles, saying it controls drivers' education in the state, indicated Monday that is adopting the AAA curriculum, which is called "Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana and Driving," in partnership with members of the Cannabis Control Commission.

The Registry, which plans a formal announcement on Friday at the Worcester Registry of Motor Vehicles, indicated the curriculum will be adopted in January, and will update the driver education module to include research-based information on cannabis and an explanation of how tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana, affects cognition, vision, reaction time, and perception of time and distance.

"This is the first generation of driver education students to be licensed since cannabis became legal in Massachusetts, and AAA research shows that impaired driving crashes may increase and continue to injure and kill motorists and their passengers," the Registry said in a media advisory.

The updated curriculum will be taught to about 52,000 young drivers per year in 700 Massachusetts driving school locations.

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