Medical Marijuana Reduces Traffic Deaths
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
Legalizing marijuana for medical purposes can mean fewer drunk drivers on the road, and fewer traffic deaths, according to a new study.
Researchers from universities in Colorado, Oregon and Montana reviewed accident statistics from 1990 to 2009, including those states that had adopted medicinal marijuana laws and those that hadn't. To date, 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
States where marijuana can be purchased legally with a prescription experienced 9% fewer traffic fatalities, "most likely as a result of its impact on alcohol consumption by young adults," the researchers wrote in their report. They cite data from the Beer Institute that beer sales fall after medical marijuana laws take effect.
In other words, medical marijuana is allowing some young people easier opportunities to get high instead of drunk, thus lowering the risk of DUIs and accidents, supporters of legalization contend. The researchers posit several explanations for the reduced death rate. For one thing, driver simulation tests show that drivers under the influence of alcohol have less control than those under the influence of marijuana. Also, because marijuana is more likely to be smoked in private, whereas alcohol is consumed in bars and restaurants, marijuana users are more likely to choose a designated driver.
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