Bike messengers everywhere, rejoice: A new study has found that marijuana use appears not to negatively impact the ability to safely ride a bicycle.
The participants in the experiment rode a bike through an obstacle course while completely sober and then after smoking one, two and three joints.
“Hardly any coordinative disturbances could be detected under the influence of high or very high THC concentrations,” the study, published by the International Journal of Legal Medicine this week, found.
The study, titled, “The effect of cannabis on regular cannabis consumers’ ability to ride a bicycle,” was conducted by German and Austrian researchers.
The cannabis cigarettes, which were standardized to contain 300 micrograms of THC per kilogram of body weight, were supplied by Dutch grower Bedrocan with the approval of the German government. Test participants “were instructed to consume the joints in the following way: 4-s inhalation, 10-s holding breath, and 15-s exhalation,” the study says.
While cycling the obstacle course, the fourteen participants in the study were given demerits for errors like leaving the track, knocking over barrels, swerving, running a red light and failing to go at a green light. Along the way, they had to slalom between poles and were presented with distractions like balls rolling in their path, verbal interruptions and being subjected to the glare of torch lights.
“Hardly any driving faults occurred under the influence of cannabis,” the researchers wrote. “Only a few driving faults were observed even under the influence of very high THC concentrations… On average, there is no increase in the number of demerits after the cannabis consumption.”
None of this is to say that operating any vehicle, particularly automobiles, while under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, is recommended.
Driving while stoned is illegal, even in states that have ended cannabis prohibition.