Lynn: It’s time to have ‘the talk’ with kids (about pot)

It’s time to talk to your kids about the dangers of marijuana and driving.

In study after study, marijuana has been shown to impair judgment, alertness, concentration, coordination and reaction time. On its own, marijuana is thought to double a driver’s risk of being in a crash. When mixed with alcohol, the risk of an accident can increase as much as 20 times.

I care deeply about this not only because I’m a father and a deputy sheriff (reserve), but because I am also an emergency medicine physician working in a trauma hospital in Oakland. Too many times, I’ve had to deliver the terrible news to families when loved ones have been killed or seriously injured in drug and alcohol-impaired accidents.

One of the hardest things for me is the understanding that these tragedies are 100 percent preventable.

This is what I told my 16-year-old son: “It’s common sense. You wouldn’t want to put your life in the hands of an airline pilot who just ate a pot brownie or a surgeon who just smoked a joint. This resonated.”

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Dr. Mike Lynn, an ER physician in Oakland, is the CEO of Hound Labs, a scientific device company that developed the Hound breathalyzer for marijuana. He is also a reserve deputy sheriff. He wrote this for The Mercury News.