The legalization of marijuana in the United States is happening slowly, and with that, some are moving to stop this new trend in its tracks. The newest report about the adoption of the drug claims that States in the country that have legalized marijuana has seen an increase in car accidents.
Frequent car accidents aren’t new, but researchers have seemingly found a link to recent upticks in accidents to possible marijuana smoking. This is interesting as it goes against what many have to say about smoking the drug.
If the data holds true, the chance of marijuana failing to pass the legal test in states that have yet to open its doors could become minuscule at best.
Car collisions increased by 2.7 percent
Marijuana is currently legal in the states of Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Those states have seen a rise in vehicular accidents by nearly 3 percent, and researchers from the Highway Loss Data Institute believe this has everything to do with marijuana than anything else.
We understand the group uses information from insurance claims instead of law enforcement to gather its data. Whether or not that’s a bad thing is left to be seen.
The researchers chose to use states such as Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming to up against states that have legalized the drug. Now, after the drug was legalized in Colorado, there, car collisions increased by 14 percent when compared to Utah and Wyoming, the report says.
As for the state of Washington, its increase went up by 6 percent over Montana and Idaho.
Now, states have found it difficult to determine how high is too high when around the steering wheel. It’s easier when alcohol is in play because the breathalyzer device exists, but there’s nothing of the sort for marijuana, at least, not yet.
The only option for police officers is to take a person to the precinct and have their blood tested. This is a procedure that can take quite a lot of time, but there’s no other option right now.
The study has its detractors
With the many supporters of the legalization of marijuana, this study was destined to have its detractors. Mason Tvert, the spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, claims the report is not 100 percent correct.
“In other words, it found a slightly increased risk of collisions in states that have made marijuana legal for adults, but it did not actually look at the causes of accidents and does not show marijuana is to blame for that increase,” according to Tvert.
Tvert went on to add that governments and businesses must educate citizens on the importance of not driving while high. From what we can tell, this has been done in Colorado where several advertisements have been released in a bid to educate citizens about the use of marijuana.
Matt Moore, senior vice president of the non-profit company behind the study, says the research is necessary, as states must have all the facts before deciding to open the marijuana floodgates.