New study finds uptick in crashes where marijuana is legal

Data published late last week revealed insurance claims have gone up almost three percent in Colorado, Washington, and OR since recreational cannabis became legal, per researchers with HLDI.

"The study raises more questions than it provides answers and it's an area that would surely receive more study, and deservedly so", Tvert said.

A new study that links auto crashes to marijuana shows vehicle accidents have gone up nearly three percent in three states where it is legal. It would also consist of members from marijuana advocacy groups, state educators, and state health officials.

In previous studies, research was mostly conducted under more controlled conditions.

Two recent studies have looked at whether Colorado's roads are less safe due to the legalization of marijuana.

South Burlington Police Chief Trevor Whipple said, "We lack a roadside test here for marijuana, we lack the capability to the capacity to test here in our state lab".

Fair enough. After all, determining the role that THC in the driver's blood played in a deadly crash is hard.

Data spanned collision claims filed between January 2012 and October 2016 for 1981 to 2017 model vehicles.

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Claim frequency was 6.2 percent higher in OR, where recreational pot sales began in October 2015, and 4.6 percent higher in Washington, which opened retail marijuana shops in July 2014. Washington increased 6.2 percent compared to Idaho and Montana, and Oregon's claims increased by 4.5 percent compared to Idaho, Montana, and Nevada.

"The problem here is that it's a pretty new experience".

"Studies like these are important so that lawmakers and voters can weigh the pros and cons to make informed decisions,"Aydelotte told Live Science".

Twenty-one states have comprehensive medical marijuana programs. The report found that ethnic minorities are still stopped and searched disproportionately to white drivers in states where weed is legal.

"If you're looking at the overall population health of [a] state, certainly the illegality of marijuana carries a certain risk of both bodily harm and death", he said.

Another study released a year ago by AAA's safety foundation stated that legal THC limits established by states with legal marijuana have no scientific basis, and could result in innocent drivers being convicted while guilty drivers are released. The researchers compared data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System between 2009 and 2015 in Colorado and Washington against eight other states and found legalization is having little impact on traffic trends, reports Reuters.

This logic is something to consider when states consider or adopt legal marijuana laws.

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