The pay’s not great, but it’s an interesting bullet point on your resume. The University of Colorado is going to give out cash to a handful of research subjects who agree to get behind the wheel while under the influence of the sweet herbal goddess called Mary Jane.
It’s not just for kicks. Part of the idea is to try to do a little bit of public good by studying the effects of cannabis on driving ability.
“The goal is to better understand impaired driving so that we can prevent impaired driving,” study co-director Ashley Brooks-Russell told The Denver Channel. Brooks-Russel is an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
The study will look at three groups of research subjects: those who use cannabis every day, those who use it one or two times per week, and those who don’t use it at all. While the effect of alcohol on driving ability is fairly well-known at this point, the correlation between toking and driving performance is more mysterious.
“We know that certain drugs really deteriorate people’s performance behind the wheel. Alcohol is the classic example for that,” said Micahel Kosnett, a co-director of the study as well as an associate clinical professor and medical toxicologist. “Our understanding of how cannabis affects driving is less well developed.”
Participants will show up to a research facility two different times. Subjects who use cannabis have to be sober the first time and stoned the second. They have to supply their own weed (which must make control hard for the study), but they will be compensated to the tune of $140.
We were hoping for some kind of closed road scenario where baked drivers could burn donuts in the middle of the highway, but instead, possibly due to budgetary constraints, participants will do some “simulated driving.”
In addition, they will undergo some other tests involving virtual reality goggles and an iPad. Which brings us to the second purpose of the study: “to find out whether these tools could enhance field sobriety tests for police and for employers.”
That’s right, you can have a few laughs, get paid to smoke up and play Crusin’ USA, but you’ll also be helping the fuzz bust fellow stoners. The choice is yours. You can sign up here.