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Study: Misconceptions Over High Driving in Virginia

Almost one-third of those surveyed believe cannabis makes them a safer driver.

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Virginia's Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) last Tuesday released the results from a new survey that measures state attitudes toward cannabis use and driving.

Stratacomm, a public affairs consulting firm, surveyed 750 individuals representing a demographic cross-section of Virginians aged 16 and older.

The survey revealed that 23% of respondents reported using cannabis in the past three months and roughly 14% of Virginians surveyed have driven high a few times or more in the past year. Almost one-third of respondents believe marijuana makes them a safer driver.

The survey also showed that Virginians do not perceive marijuana-impaired driving to be as dangerous as other risky behaviors. Some 60% of respondents say texting and driving and 49% regard alcohol-impaired driving to be "extremely dangerous," only 26% of Virginians view cannabis-impaired driving in the same light.

The CCA will use the survey results to develop a safe driving campaign mandated by the 2021 general assembly that will highlight the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving. The campaign will launch in January 2023.

The survey also found that many Virginians who use marijuana do not plan for safe travel, with 47% of cannabis users reporting they do not always have a plan for a sober ride and 24% of respondents indicating they have been a passenger in a car operated by a high driver more than once in the past year.

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