A report released from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found the rate of crashes increased with legalized marijuana in Oregon, Washington and Colorado.
Previous evidence from simulators and on-road studies have shown marijuana can degrade some aspects of driving abilities, but there has not been a definitive connection.
Colorado and Washington were the first to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older with retail sales beginning in 2014. In Oregon, voters approved legalized recreational marijuana in November 2014 and sales began toward the end of 2015.
Although this report shows an increase, the effect varied based on state. The three states were compared with surrounding states without legalized marijuana use. When compared, researchers found an increase of three percent of crashes compared with surrounding states at the same time. Although this change is small, researchers are saying it is statistically significant.
"The combined effect for the three states was smaller but still significant at 3 percent," Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI said. "The combined analysis uses a bigger control group and is a good representation of the effect of marijuana legalization overall. The single-state analyses show how the effect differs by state."
Impaired driving is a problem across the country, whether it is from alcohol, prescription use or other legal and illegal drugs and is prohibited in Oregon, no matter what the form.
If you or a loved one has suffered at the hand of an impaired driver, we may be able to help. No one should be injured due to someone else’s negligence. Call the offices of Johnson Law today and find out how we can fight on your behalf.