Medical Marijuana Correlates to Fewer Traffic Fatalities

traffic fatalities

Medical Marijuana Correlates to Fewer Traffic Fatalities

According to High Times, there were fewer traffic fatalities statistically in legal medical marijuana states. A study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researched how medical marijuana correlates to traffic fatalities. The study found that there were 11% fewer traffic fatalities in medical marijuana states. Further, fewer traffic fatalities appeared to have occurred in areas with more medical marijuana shops. Accordingly, the study theorizes that many drivers have replaced alcohol with cannabis. As a result, fewer people are driving while under the influence of alcohol.

However, for people 45 or older, there was little evidence that medical marijuana correlates to lower traffic deaths. In fact, the largest drop in traffic deaths seems to be for drivers between 14 and 44, according to the study.

The Medical Marijuana States on the Rise

More states have passed medical-marijuana laws. In fact, nine states between 2009 and 2014. With more medical marijuana states coming onboard, concerns are increasing about the possible effect on public safety, generally.

Medical Marijuana Replacing Alcohol

According to the article, previous research has shown that driving while stoned has a measurable but relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol.

Also, according to the article, past studies have found that drivers who were high tended to reduce their speed and increase headways. The past studies suggest that stoned drivers are aware of their impairment and make an effort to compensate.

Read more at High Times.

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