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Study: Drugged Driving Is A Growing Problem, Especially Among Drivers Under 25

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - As more states work on the legalization of medical marijuana, studies show that "drugged driving" accidents are becoming more prevalent especially among motorist under 25-years-old.

A substance abuse specialist says education is still needed to get people out of the fog.

"There is a perception that marijuana is safe and it's not a drug," Dr. Mary Abood said. "Driving stoned is like driving drunk."

Dr. Abood conducts substance abuse research at Temple University's school of medicine.

"Stoned is sort of a catatonic state. A state of less motor control, less brain control"

She says marijuana is a mixture of compounds -- some of which get you high and others which may be medically useful.

"And the compound that gets people high is delta9-thc -- tetrahydrocannabinol -- there are other compounds in marijuana like cannabidiol that is one of the reasons people are pushing medical marijuana."

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, one in eight high school seniors admitted to driving after smoking marijuana. The study also found nearly a quarter of drivers killed in drug-related car crashes were under 25.

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