Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Daniel S. O'Leary
In the United States, one in six teenagers has driven under the influence of marijuana. Despite the fact that marijuana use is less common than alcohol use, driving under their influence is equally prevalent. Previous research has shown that the effects of marijuana on driving performance are more subtle than those of alcohol. Despite the knowledge that many drugs affect men and women differently, fewer than 25% of studies exploring the effects of marijuana use on driving performance have included women. Findings from both animal and human studies suggest marijuana may have more deleterious effects on women than men. This study examined gender differences in the acute effects of marijuana on cognition and driving performance. While no gender differences were found, marijuana did impair tasks of selective and divided attention, time estimation, and executive function. Participants under the influence of marijuana performed comparably to those who received a placebo cigarette on the driving assessment.
Copyright 2007 Beth Marie Anderson Turner