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There Could Be A Link Between Car Wrecks And Marijuana

There Could Be A Link Between Car Wrecks And Marijuana

"It was a very impassioned argument, we just wanted to see if that were true", says Aydelotte, who adds that it is very uncommon to see somebody who has nothing but marijuana in their system and crashes their vehicle.

"Legalizing recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington has resulted in collision claim frequencies that are about 3 percent higher overall than would have been expected without legalization".

The institute compared collision claims before and after legalisation, with collision claim rates of comparable states where marijuana is still illegal, to determine whether collision rates are higher than they would be if recreational use was still illegal.

The institute's new analysis of real-world crashes provides one look at the emerging picture of what marijuana's legalization will mean for highway safety as more states decriminalize its use.

A 2016 study from Columbia University looked at fatalities in 19 different states before and after medical marijuana was legalized. Many states have considered legalizing recreational marijuana because of public opinion and because of its possible revenue generation. The researchers note many high drivers also test positive for alcohol in their systems.

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Commenting on the findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "These conclusions ought to be reassuring to lawmakers and those in the public who have concerns that regulating adult marijuana use may inadvertently jeopardize public safety".

"What is clear from both studies is that marijuana legalization has not resulted in the immediate doomsday scenario that was predicted", says Mason Tvert, one of the main proponents for Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational cannabis sales in Colorado, as well as the spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. It's separate from the individual state analysis, as it takes in more data from the eight Western states - including Colorado, Oregon and Washington - to ensure "a statistically significant effect", IIHS spokesman Russ Rader told Cars.com. The research examined crash data in three of the first states to make pot legal.

The researchers knew it'd be tough to confirm a link between pot and vehicle crashes, so they made a decision to focus on the three states in the study - and compare the numbers of auto accidents claims before and after legalization.

"Colorado has had legal pot sales the longest and it is showing the greatest effect", Moore said.

Clearly, more research would help. It also factored in statistics regarding the three states where recreational use is now legal from before it became available to the general public. "We see strong evidence of an increase crash risk in states that have approved recreational marijuana sales".

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