Dope smokers on our roads driving while high

ALMOST 70% of people who admitted to using cannabis in the past year drove while under the influence of the drug, a national survey has revealed.

The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre's online poll of more than 4600 Australians showed 2200 people used the drug in the past year.

Of those, 16% said they had driven a car daily within five hours of using cannabis and 25% drove under the influence weekly or monthly.

Some said they felt the drug made them slower and better drivers.

The centre's senior researcher Dr Peter Gates said while many stoned drivers thought cannabis made them slower and more careful, the drug compromised reaction time, decision-making and distance perception.

"This can only mean your basic driving skills are dramatically diminished when using cannabis - even if you're sitting under the speed limit," he said.

He said driving while high could increase the risk of a crash up to 300%.

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