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Cannabis 101 course held during first Kentucky Safety Summit

Retired Ohio State Highway Patrolman Josh Craft leading "Cannabis 101" 05-15-24
Stu Johnson
Retired Ohio State Highway Patrolman Josh Craft leading "Cannabis 101" 05-15-24

The use of marijuana and the potential impact on driving is different than that found in alcohol consumption. It was a topic discussed during the inaugural Kentucky Safety Summit.

The breakout session was entitled Cannabis 101, led by retired Ohio State Highway Patrolman Josh Craft. He started with a history of the types of cannabis plants and their effects. Craft said there is an increased risk of a crash with cannabis impairment.

“The way that marijuana again affects what’s called divided attention among people. Driving is a complex divided attention task. So, any impairment related to driving can be caused by the divided attention aspect of marijuana,” said Craft.

Craft said it’s safe to say there is not a blood alcohol content equivalent for THC, the principal psychoactive part of cannabis.

When it comes to operating a motor vehicle, Craft said assessing impairment during a traffic stop is challenging.

“Possibly doing roadside oral fluid devices where it would detect the presence of cannabis roadside, but it doesn’t quantify the amount of cannabis that the person ingested. It just basically says that cannabis is or isn’t present,” said Craft.

Craft noted everybody is affected differently by the drug, so it’s hard to make a comparison with alcohol-related impairment. The retired state police officer added legalization of recreational marijuana may result in more first-time users and that could create a substantial risk while driving.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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