Will driving while high get you in trouble when weed is legal?
A new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds 7 in 10 Americans do not believe drivers will get busted for driving after using marijuana even though just as many believe that driving while high is wrong.
Robert Sinclair of AAA/Northeast says the survey results are "very distressing" because marijuana impairs driving.
"What's more alarming is the fact that 14.8 million drivers report that they actually use marijuana and got behind the wheel within one hour of using the drug. And that's within the last 30 days," Sinclair said.
Impaired driving and devising methods to detect whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana are among the considerations for New Jersey lawmakers who have been debating and designing legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana.
"We've seen an increase in the number of those who have marijuana in their system that are fatally injured in crashes in New York in New Jersey," Sinclair said. "So as marijuana legality has increased across the country, we're seeing this mentally false attitude, a wrong attitude. But also the actual practice of people using these drugs and getting out on the road."
Other survey findings:
— 14 percent of Millennials said that they had used marijuana and then gone for a drive.
They were followed by 10% of younger Generation Z.
— Men (8%) were more likely than women (5%) to report driving shortly after using marijuana.
— 7% in the survey said they approved of driving after smoking marijuana, more than other dangerous behaviors such as alcohol influence or drowsy driving.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5