Legalization Doesn’t Mean Higher Traffic Fatalities

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on February 13, 2015 · 0 comments

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A new study indicates that the number of fatal accidents on the road is not affected by whether or not marijuana is legal. The study evaluated fatal accidents from 1992 through 2009. During that time period, 12 states legalized marijuana use.

During the time period studied, researches say that accidents increased more rapidly in just three of the 12 states: California, Washington and Hawaii. The other states experienced increases in fatal accidents that were consistent with population increases.

Researchers say that this means rather than attracting new users, marijuana legalization laws are providing access to marijuana for those who were already using.

Opponents of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado cited an increase in fatal traffic accidents as one of the reasons marijuana should not be legalized. However, following legalization, highway fatalities in the state have actually continued to decline.

Of course, these studies do not take into account that scientists still have no way to determine if a driver is actually high or stoned, as opposed to just having THC in their system. THC can stay in an individual’s bloodstream for up to 72 hours after consumption, and THC also affects routine marijuana users less than occasional or new users, so two individuals could have the same amount of THC measured in their bloodstream and one would be much less affected than the other.

The study appeared in the Journal of Safety Research.

The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.

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