Study: Stoned driver crashes up in legal marijuana states
While legalization has had a lot of positive effects so far (including increased tax income for the areas where weed is legal, and fewer opiate overdoses in those same areas), there’s one issue that’s still a problem: driving under the influence. While a lot of stoners believe that they can get on the road while high without a problem, the science is starting to say that’s just not true. A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in states where recreational marijuana is legal, there are more insurance claims and more crashes on the roads.
That’s a little troubling. And while alcohol is certainly a factor in a lot of DUI accidents, officials are also finding that a lot of drivers are mixing drugs and alcohol. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found in 2016 that one in four traffic fatalities that year were a result of drivers mixing alcohol with other drugs, including cannabis.
Given the benefits of legalization, it’s hard to say that this overturns the arguments for that (not to mention that even if weed remained illegal, some drivers would still drive while high anyway, regardless of legality). But that’s not something you can tell to someone who just lost a loved one on the road because someone got lit and went for a drive. Bottom line, don’t drive while high. Grab a Lyft or an Uber, or even go for a stroll (and enjoy the great outdoors). Driving high puts yourself and others at risk, and just isn’t worth the possible, terrible cost.