Study: Legalization Did Not Cause More Car Accidents

Study: Legalization Did Not Cause More Car Accidents

When Canada legalized marijuana in 2018, many opponents said it would cause a rash of traffic accidents and injuries.

But in a report published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers admitted they sought to prove legalization would make roads less safe, an argument prohibitionists have been using since legalization took hold in Canada and the U.S.

The researchers analyzed data from the Ontario and Alberta emergency departments from April 2015 to December 2019, and they could find no evidence to support that hypothesis. “Implementation of the Cannabis Act was not associated with evidence of significant post-legalization changes in traffic-injury [emergency department] visits in Ontario or Alberta among all drivers or youth drivers, in particular,” the study states.

“Implementation of cannabis legalization has raised a common concern that such legislation might increase traffic-related harms, especially among youth,” says Dr. Russell Callaghan, who led the study. “Our results, however, show no evidence that legalization was associated with significant changes in emergency department traffic-injury presentations.”

Callaghan admitted he was surprised by the study’s results. But numerous studies have found there is no test to measure cannabis intoxication like we have with alcohol. Marijuana doesn’t work like booze, and though we can determine how much THC is in one’s system, we haven’t been able to come up with a test that measures actual THC impairment.

the legalization of marijuana is not found to be a predictor of traffic fatalities.

A 2019 paper prepared for Congress said “studies of the impact of marijuana consumption on a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash have produced conflicting results, with some studies finding little or no increased risk of a crash from marijuana usage. Levels of impairment that can be identified in laboratory settings may not have a significant impact in real-world settings, where many variables affect the likelihood of a crash occurring.” 

Don’t miss our 50 at 50 series: one current or former prisoner published a day until New Year’s Day 2022.

A Kansas State University study that same year found “the recent upward trend of traffic fatality rates nationwide is not a result of medical marijuana legalization. In fact, the legalization of marijuana is not found to be a predictor of traffic fatalities.”

And a University of Colorado study last year cast more doubt on the chances of coming up with a blood test for cannabis impairment. In this one, all users, whether smoking flower or vaporized marijuana or concentrated products made with cannabis oil, reported about the same feeling of intoxication and the same ability to perform balance and cognitive tests at the same time.

This piece was originally published by Marijuana Moment and has been edited or modified by The News Station.

More Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!