Oct 28, 2022 - News

Survey: Virginians less wary of driving high

Illustration of a "no" symbol in the shape of a joint and a ring of smoke

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many Virginians don’t view driving under the influence of marijuana to be as dangerous as drunk driving, per a survey conducted by the state’s Cannabis Control Authority.

By the numbers: 11% of respondents said they had driven while stoned in the month before the survey was taken.

  • Only 26% of Virginians surveyed said they view marijuana-impaired driving as “extremely dangerous.”
  • The figure compares poorly to respondents’ views of other risky driving behaviors, such as drunk driving (49%) and texting and driving (60%).

Why it matters: Marijuana possession may be legal now, but driving while stoned is just as illegal as driving under the influence of alcohol.

  • The authority, which is developing a safe driving campaign set to launch early next year, called the findings troubling.

More findings: The survey found nearly half of respondents had used marijuana ever.

  • 31% said they’d used the drug in the week before the survey was taken.
  • Southwest Virginia residents accounted for a quarter of the state’s regular marijuana users despite representing 18% of the state’s population.

Worth noting: The survey was conducted between Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 by market research and public affairs company Stratacomm and is based on 783 responses.

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