IIHS Study Suggests Link Between Recreational Marijuana Use And Increase In Crashes


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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute announced Thursday that crashes in states with legalized recreational marijuana have increased up to 6 percent.

Marijuana's role in crashes isn't as clear as the link between alcohol and crashes. the report notes. And that's a problem, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says. But this is now the second year in a row for the IIHS to find this troubling trend and thee is now one year left for the nonprofit group to be looked at the three states including Washington, Oregon and the Colorado.

Driving high is illegal across the United States and Canada.

"These studies do indicate that legalization of all uses of marijuana can impact road safety, so we would encourage states that are considering legalization of recreational marijuana to consider the impact it could have on highway safety", Kay Wakeman, who conducts research analysis for the Highway Loss Data Institute, said. Legalization initiatives are now pending in multiple states, and Canada became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana earlier this week. Harkey told NBC news that it would certainly be new in the game and we're noticing the game in completely wrong way.

The institute acknowledges determining whether someone is impaired by marijuana use in the case of a auto accident is hard. Policies and procedures for drug testing tend to be inconsistent, and many states don't include consistent information on driver drug use in crash reports.

A new study suggests that states where recreational marijuana is legal, auto crashes are up 6%.

Nine states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana use. "But the rising tide of drug-impaired driving did not begin with this driver, and it will not end with him".

Combating drug-impaired driving presents many challenges.

Investigators found marijuana cigarettes in the truck as well as drug paraphernalia and prescription medication, and a toxicology test detected THC and clonazepam, a sedative, in the driver's system. "We need it on the types of marijuana that people are actually using and we needed it 10 years ago, unfortunately".

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