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Effects of Marihuana on Flying Ability

Martin P. Meacham, MS; David S. Janowsky, MD; Jack D. Blaine, MD; Louis P. Bozzetti Jr., MD; Michael Schorr
JAMA. 1974;230(9):1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090018013.
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To the Editor.—  Since being informed of a number of instances in which pilots have flown aircraft while "high" on marihuana, we have studied the effects of marihuana intoxication on the ability of certified pilots to operate a general aviation model ATC-510 instrument flight simulator.Three professional and three private pilots were recruited. All had a history of smoking marihuana for several years and could currently be described as infrequent marihuana users. The pilots were familiarized with a specific flight sequence that included maneuvers typically encountered in instrument flight (straight and level flight, turns, three-dimensional maneuvering, radio navigation). After the pilots attained proficiency in "flying" the simulator and in the specific flight sequence, standardized marihuana (6.3 mg of Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol) or a matched marihuana placebo (0.2 mg of Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol), supplied by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, was smoked over a 10-minute period in a pipe, utilizing


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