In the wake of several USA states legalising or decriminalising marijuana, the American Motorcycle Safety Foundation has introduced a marijuana awareness kit to show the effects of the drug.
The MSF says marijuana “tends to distort perception of time, space, and speed” making it dangerous for riders, as well as illegal.
“This is especially true for motorcycle riders, who must continually make detailed assessments of complex traffic situations and make split-second decisions requiring precise rider input to navigate safely and maintain an adequate safety margin,” the organisation says.
They previously produced an alcohol awareness kit which includes “beer goggles” that replicate the effects of being drunk.
The new kit includes “grass goggles”, but the MSF admits they cannot truly replicate the effects of a marijuana “high”.
“But the unique way in which it distorts perceptions causes some impairments,” they say.
“The participant then needs to attempt to compensate for these impairments to complete the kit’s activities. Because the impairments are in the same general areas of cognition and motor skills affected by marijuana, the participant can get a sense of the challenges a ‘high’ driver or motorcyclist would face when dealing with traffic situations.”
The kit is available at MSF’s online store (msf-usa.org) for $595.
Currently 23 US states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medical use: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) plus DC allow it for recreational use by adults 21 and over.
In other states use and possession charges have been reduced to a misdemeanour or civil infraction.
The MSF points out that it is still not legal, safe, or wise to operate a motorbike while high.