"It was a very impassioned argument, we just wanted to see if that were true", says Aydelotte, who adds that it is very uncommon to see somebody who has nothing but marijuana in their system and crashes their auto.
Legalizing marijuana for recreational use has cost three states when it comes to road safety, a new study finds.
Instead, the group focused on three states - Colorado, where legal marijuana retail sales started in 2014, as well as OR and Washington, where sales began in 2015 - and compared them to the collision claims in neighboring states such as Nevada and Utah, parts of which now allow only medical marijuana. After Colorado legalized retail marijuana, the uptick in collision-claim frequency was 14 percent higher than in adjacent Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming.
A study published a year ago in the same journal reported that the enactment of medical marijuana legalization laws is associated with a reduction in traffic fatalities compared to other states, particularly among younger drivers.
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Still, it's hard to determine if the crashes were caused exclusively by marijuana use.
Basically, it impacted drivers differently, but the takeaway was predictable: The more marijuana they smoked, the worse their driving became.
A study released Thursday shows a possible link between marijuana use and auto crashes.
Marijuana advocates question the study's comparison of states with such varied populations. There was an average 11 percent reduction in fatalities, but on a state-by-state basis, only seven saw a reduction, while 10 saw no change and two actually saw higher fatality rates. Washington recorded a 6 percent higher rate than Montana and Idaho in terms of collision claims.
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"Colorado has had legal pot sales the longest and it is showing the greatest effect", Moore noted. The republican says he will appoint a commission to study a legalized system.
"The combined effect for the three states was smaller but still significant at 3 percent", Moore said. In the coming years, more research from the institute and others will help sharpen the focus. Preliminary results are expected in 2020. Marijuana still is an illegal controlled substance under federal law.
Subin says she is disappointed legalization will have to wait in the Green Mountain State, "The status quo is not acceptable and it's not a neutral place to allow the policy to lie". The findings "should give other states eyeing legalization pause", said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, in a statement.
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