Argument 12: They say… dagga does not contribute to an increase in fatal car accidents… but…

Despite unsubstantiated claims made to the contrary, driving under the influence of dagga most definitely does play a role in a huge number of car accidents, including many that result in the loss of life.

In fact, it has been discovered that of all drugs, dagga ranks number one in the list of illegal substances found in the blood of people who have been involved in a car accident.

Studies have drawn the following conclusions about driving whilst under the influence of dagga:

Dagga significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and there is a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.6,7

Driving under the influence of drugs, including dagga, is nearly as common as drunk driving amongst college students. 6

Dagga is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in accidents, including fatal ones. One study showed that dagga was overwhelmingly the most commonly mentioned drug in drugged driving experiences (97%), followed by cocaine (13%) and nonmedical use of prescription analgesics (4%).8

Finally, an analysis of multiple studies found that the risk of being involved in an accident roughly doubles after dagga use.9

In those countries where dagga has been legalized, more people will be using dagga, therefore more people will be driving under the influence of the drug, and therefore there will be more accidents.

More high drivers mean an increased risk to the sober members of society. Should these citizens be expected to risk death in a motor collision simply because a minority group insist on their right to use their favourite drug without being prosecuted?

Without looking further than the few points mentioned above and the studies from which they are sourced, it is clear for all to see that driving under the influence of dagga is on a par with driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and is extremely dangerous.

Such irresponsible behaviour should not be encouraged by removing or adjusting legislation that punishes those who insist on risking the lives of others through their continued use of an illegal substance.


Hon. S Shaikh, MP Chairperson: Select Committee on Security and Justice (National Council of Provinces) For attention: Hon. S Shaikh,...

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