Many people may drive with marijuana in their system — even when they have kids in the car.
That’s the upshot of a new study of drivers in Washington state, where recreational pot is legal.
In roadside tests of more than 2,000 drivers, researchers found that 14% of those with a child in the car tested positive for THC, the component that creates marijuana’s “high.”
In contrast, only 0.2% of people driving with a child tested positive for alcohol on breath tests. None had levels above the legal limit.
Researchers stressed, however, that people with THC in their systems were not necessarily driving while stoned.
A positive THC test simply means the person has recently used pot.
Still, the possibility that some of those drivers were impaired is concerning, said study co-author Angela Eichelberger, a researcher with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It’s not clear how often marijuana use contributes to traffic accidents, according to Eichelberger, because it’s a tricky question to study. In the “real world,” she noted, drivers who test positive for THC often have used other