Millions of Americans are driving under the influence of marijuana, CDC says

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Millions of Americans are getting high and then getting behind the wheel. New research shows drugged driving is a growing public health concern.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 12 million people reported driving under the influence of marijuana in 2018. Another two million were behind the wheel after using other illicit drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine..

According to the study, male drivers were more likely to report using marijuana or illicit drugs than female drivers. The people most likely to say they used pot before driving were in the 21-25 age group. The second highest group to report using weed were between the age of 16 and 20, the youngest category of drivers to qualify for a license.

This is concerning, but the report also found that driving under the influence of alcohol remains far more common. 20.5 million people reported driving under the influence of alcohol.

Weed is legal in a growing number of states, but driving under its influence is not. Earlier studies have shown that using marijuana can seriously alter a driver's judgment, perception, ability to think clearly and reaction time.

For a link to the study on the CDC’s website, click or tap here.