Traffic Fatalities and Medical Marijuana Laws

I would like to start saying that I am not going to discuss whether medical marijuana should be legalized or not. So far, sixteen States and Washington DC enacted medical marijuana laws. California pioneered the law in 1996. As of now, Delaware is the latest state adopted the trend in their 2011 legislation. Nevada voters approved medical marijuana laws in the 2000 election and it became law in 2001. Another six states are struggling with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

IZA is an independent economic research organization based in Germany. They released a study report on the impact on traffic fatalities by medical marijuana laws. Why Traffic fatalities???? In the United States, traffic fatality is the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 through 34. Two university professors D. Mark Anderson from Montana State University and Daniel I. Rees from University of Colorado, Denver led the study. They got the highway accident death data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The findings were interesting. Legalization is associated with a 7.8 percent decrease in the Weekday traffic fatality rate. In comparison, it is associated with a 9.5 percent decrease in the weekend traffic fatality rate. Also, Legalization is associated with a 6.8 percent decrease in the daytime traffic fatality rate. In comparison, it is associated with a 10.1 percent decrease in the nighttime traffic fatality rate. We all know alcohols consumption peaks at nights and weekends compare to daytime and weekdays.

OK!!! It looks that medical marijuana laws serve the States and their people better. In fact, this law leads to reduction in alcohol consumption and increase in pot smoking. When the young age people are drunk, they still have the false confidence that they can drive and finally they end up in a fatal accident. When those people are intoxicated with marijuana, they don’t even have the ability to walk to the car thus stay where ever they are. That is the reason for less fatal accidents on the roads.

Happy holidays to you all. Don’t drink and drive.


One response to this post.

  1. I think this is a very interesting study and am pleased to see people taking an interest in analyzing the potentially positive ramifications of legalizing weed. But I think that your last statement, that people intoxicated with marijuana don’t have the “ability” to walk to their car is an overstatement and makes marijuana seem as if it almost paralyzes people. It defeats the point of making marijuana look like a better option than alcohol or at least somewhat less harmful in terms of this issue.


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