Triple-I Blog | Link between pot legalization and car crashes varies by state, study finds


Max Dorfman, Analysis Author, Triple-I

Recreational marijuana use is linked to patterns of vehicle crashes, according to an article published in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research. Nevertheless, the study also noted that retail marijuana sales are not solely responsible for the overall increase in accidents.

Legalizing recreational cannabis use was correlated with a 6.5% increase in the rate of accidents involving accidents and a 2.3% increase in those involving deaths. With legalization and retail sales, the study found the overall effect was a 5.8% increase in severe accident charges and a 4.1% increase in fatal accident charges.

However, these results were inconsistent across states, with results on injury crash rates ranging from a 7% drop to an 18% increase and fatal crash rates ranging from a 4% improvement to a 10% decrease. Colorado saw the largest increase in accident charges after legalization and retail sales, reaching 17.8%. Nevada saw the largest drop in fatal crashes, at 9.8%.

“Legalization removes the stigma of marijuana use, while the start of retail sales will only increase entry,” said lead researcher Charles M. Farmer of the Insurance Institute for Safety of People. highways. “But access to marijuana isn’t difficult, even in places without retail. Customers who had previously refrained from excessive driving might really feel that all is well after legalization.

Farmer added, “Research on a direct causal link between marijuana use and crash risk has been inconclusive.” Not like with alcohol, there is no goal measurement, but exists for how intoxicated a marijuana user is.

As Triple-I notes, most research finds that marijuana use ends in impaired coordination, reminiscence, associative study, consideration, cognitive flexibility, and response time. Although it is clear from this analysis that driving skills are impaired, the extent of the impairment continues to be investigated.

Young drivers are at greater risk of accidents with site visitors than older drivers, with young male drivers being exposed to excessive danger. Early evidence means that young male drivers most definitely must be driving under the influence of marijuana.

Another study, in the journal drug and alcohol addiction, suggests that continued and heavy recreational marijuana use impairs the driving experience, even when the driving force is not excessive, those who began using marijuana commonly less than 16 years ago display the worst results.

These results show that marijuana outcomes differ widely across team demographics, making it all the more important that everyone be careful when using the drug.


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