Massachusetts to Be First Legal Marijuana State With Cannabis Lessons in Driver’s Ed
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has made the announcement that as of next year, the Bay State will become the first state in the nation to add the teachings about the impairment from cannabis to their driver's education curriculums.
According to WCVB in Boston, a new programs that has been created by AAA will be taught in an estimated 700 schools throughout Massachusetts. The program with the new lessons is known as, 'Shifting Gears: the Blunt Truth about Marijuana and Driving.' Each year, there will be an estimated 50,000 students that will be taught the lesson showing the dangers of cannabis impairment, which can affect vision, reaction time and more as noted by MassDOT officials.
According to MassDOT officals:
The current driver education module addressing impaired driving will be updated to include research-based information on cannabis, explaining how tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana, affects cognition, vision, reaction time, and perception of time and distance...
Before first-time drivers under the age of 18 can obtain a license, they will be required to attend and complete 30 hours worth of classroom instruction.
The legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts was voted on for approval back in November of 2016.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts also made a statement regarding the new program. Here's what they had to say about it:
This is the first generation of driver education students to be licensed since cannabis became legal in Massachusetts, and AAA research shows that impaired driving crashes may increase and continue to injure and kill motorists and their passengers.
The new program will start being taught in January 2023.