US News 18 October 2018
Family First Comment: “Accidents are up by as much as 6 percent in in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared to neighboring states without marijuana legalisation.”
But we shouldn’t be surprised.
New research shows that car accident rates are elevated in some states where recreational marijuana is legal.
CAR CRASHES HAVE
increased in some states where recreational marijuana is legal, according
to two new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute.
An analysis of insurance crash claims show that accidents are up by as much as 6 percent in in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared to neighboring states where recreational marijuana is not legal. Another analysis of police accident reports in Colorado, Oregon and Washington saw a 5.2 percent spike in accidents in those states, again compared with neighboring states.
The release of the data comes just a day after Canada legalized
cannabis nationwide and less than a month before the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, when initiatives to legalize marijuana will be on the ballot in Michigan
and North Dakota
and are being considered in others.
Recreational use of marijuana is legal
in nine states, and 30 states allow for medical use. Though a majority
of Americans support marijuana legalization, the drug remains outlawed at the federal level.
The studies don’t prove that marijuana use is the cause of the accident increase, says David Harkey, president of the institutes, but he added that the analyses serve as a “solid indicator” that marijuana plays a role in road safety.
Harkey says he expects more states to legalize recreational marijuana use, and the study is meant to be proactive.