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26 June 2017, 01:19 | Audrey Hill
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Lewis Koski
A new study found that states with legalized recreational use of marijuana have an increase in accident insurance claims. According to the federally funded agency: "Although we know marijuana negatively affects a number of skills needed for safe driving, and some studies have shown an association between marijuana use and vehicle crashes, it is unclear whether marijuana use actually increases the risk of auto crashes".
In the study conducted by HLDI, researchers found that between January 2012 and October 2016, accident claims increased by 4.5 percent in OR, 16 percent in Colorado, and 6.2 percent in Washington. The study also didn't record the fatality rates in states where marijuana is legal.
Does the use of legal marijuana in the United States create higher rates of vehicle accidents?
According to a separate individual analysis, OR has the lowest increase in claims compared to neighboring states.
Brine said they are numbers to pay attention to, but numbers of crashes related to distracted driving are "far more startling". Colorado had the greatest difference with 13.9 percent more collisions than Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming.
One of the big bullet points that anti-pot legislators consistently cite as a reason to keep marijuana illegal is the potential increase in the number of stoned drivers on our nation's roads.
While this certainly isn't an endorsement for de-legalizing recreational marijuana use, it is a reminder to stay off the roads if you're having your head changed.
Prior to legalization, the crash fatality rates were comparable between Colorado and Washington and the control states, according to a draft version of the report provided by the AJPH to The Cannabist.
"While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving", said Rader, according to Chicago Tribune.
A study released Thursday shows a possible link between marijuana use and vehicle crashes. Northampton police Captain John Cartledge told 22News, "Certainly it's much harder to test for marijuana or any other types of drugs without some sort of chemical test, especially roadside".
Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand.
"It would be hard to say that marijuana is a definitive factor, lacking a citation, in a significant number of crashes to say that what we're seeing here is a trend", Kenton Brine, president, Northwest Insurance Council, said.
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