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Many medical marijuana patients drive high, according to study

According to a recent study, many medical marijuana patients drive high. (WEYI/WSMH)

More than 270,000 people in Michigan have state approval to use medical marijuana.

According to a new study by the University of Michigan Addiction Center, many of them have admitted to driving while high.

Researchers surveyed 790 patients with chronic pain who were renewing their medical marijuana cards in 2014 and 2015 and found 56 percent of those patients reported driving within two hours of using cannabis.

Of that number, half said they drove while they were a "little high" and about 20 percent said they have while "very high".

Unlike more traditional medications that you pick up from the pharmacy, medical marijuana doesn't come with specific instructions for how much to consumer.

As a result, the study's lead author recommends marijuana users not drive on the same day that they consume marijuana altogether.

She said people under the influence of weed are more likely to have a slower reaction time.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said if you need the medication that's fine, but leave the driving to someone else.

"If you're involved in a traffic crash and you're found to be impaired and you kill somebody, you can spend the rest of your life in prison," he said. "That's not a risk worth taking. If you have to take that medicine to ease your pain, be comfortable, just make other arrangements to get to work."

Given the high number of medical marijuana patients in the state, along with the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, experts said there should be more studies like this done.

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