Massachusetts Adding Cannabis Education for New Drivers

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The Bay State will become the first adult-use state to mandate “Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana and Driving” as part of its driver education curriculum.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is adding cannabis education to its state driving curriculum.

The RMV, in partnership with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) and AAA Northeast, will implement “Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth about Marijuana and Driving” in January 2023 to educate teens on the risks of cannabis-impaired driving.

Massachusetts becomes the first adult-use state to mandate this education for new drivers, according to a release.

“Today’s young drivers in Massachusetts are the first generation to get behind the wheel since cannabis became legal in the state. Considering that, it is critically important they also understand how THC can impact the body, including the risks associated from cannabis impaired driving,” said Cannabis Control Commission Commissioner Kimberly Roy. “With today’s announcement, Massachusetts takes the lead in prevention and increasing awareness around this issue by providing every driver’s education student a comprehensive, evidence-based cannabis-impaired driving information curriculum to help them understand those risks and make safe decisions.”

“Blunt Truth” is taught through a 22-minute educational video and features research-based information on cannabis, including how THC affections cognition, perception of time and distance, reaction time, and vision. The curriculum will be taught to approximately 50,000 young drivers per year across 460 Massachusetts driving school locations, according to the release.

“Adding information about cannabis to the Massachusetts’s Registry driver education is important for the safety and wellbeing of tends that are just learning to drive,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “The new cannabis instruction will help individuals make informed decisions and I am pleased that Massachusetts is leading in including it in driver education.”

Massachusetts became the seventh state to legalize adult-use cannabis when voters approved Question 4 in the Nov. 2016 elections. The state launched adult-use sales Nov. 20, 2018.