Published Online: 1 April 1983
Page Count: 8
Chief toxicologist, Office of Chief Medical Examiner and professor, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Director for Biorganic Chemistry, Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC
Graduate student, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
(Received 28 June 1982; accepted 27 July 1982)
Marihuana, ethanol, and other drugs are considered by many to be detrimental to the safe operation of motor vehicles. However, direct epidemiological evidence for this belief exists only for ethanol. The goal of this investigation was to determine the incidence of the psychoactive ingredient of marihuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), along with ethanol and other drugs in blood specimens from a carefully defined population of dead drivers. Although THC and other drugs were present in a small number of the blood specimens, the large number of specimens that had high blood ethanol concentrations indicated that alcohol is still the major drug affecting highway safety.
Paper ID: JFS11517J