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    Medical Marijuana Involvement In Fatal Accidents In Colorado
    By News Staff | May 15th 2014 05:03 PM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Since the commercialization of medical marijuana in the middle of 2009, the proportion of marijuana-positive drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in Colorado has increased dramatically, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System covering 1994 to 2011.

    The University of Colorado School of Medicine  researchers analyzed fatal motor vehicle crashes in Colorado and in the 34 states that did not have medical marijuana laws, comparing changes over time in the proportion of drivers who were marijuana-positive and alcohol-impaired.

    Results: Fatal motor vehicle crashes in Colorado involving at least one driver who tested positive for marijuana accounted for 4.5 percent in the first six months of 1994; this percentage increased to 10 percent in the last six months of 2011. They reported that Colorado underwent a significant increase in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive after the commercialization of medical marijuana in the middle of 2009.

    The increase in Colorado was significantly greater compared to the 34 non-medical marijuana states from mid-2009 to 2011. The researchers also reported no significant changes over time in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were alcohol-impaired within Colorado and comparing Colorado to the 34 non-medical marijuana states.  

    The results raise important concerns about the increase in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive since the commercialization of medical marijuana in Colorado, particularly in comparison to the 34 non-medical marijuana states.

    While the study does not determine cause and effect relationships, such as whether marijuana-positive drivers caused or contributed to the fatal crashes, it indicates a need for better education and prevention programs to curb impaired driving.



    Citation: Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Sung-Joon Min, Joseph T. Sakai, Christian Thurstone, Christian Hopfer, 'Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Sung-Joon Min, Joseph T. Sakai, Christian Thurstone, Christian Hopfer', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.04.008. Source: University of Colorado Denver


    Comments

    The real question is what happened to overall accident rates? Did marijuana use displace alcohol use and reduce fatalities?

    Uhhgh Yet at the same time, traffic FATALITIES are DOWN in Colorado by double digits since they enacted medical marijuana. As are alcohol sales, teen suicides and prescription drug deaths.

    WHY when they say ‘people test positive for marijuana in fatalities more frequently’ Do they NOT mention BUT our traffic fatalities are down considerably over most all other ‘non medical states’.

    Statistics are a funny thing, using only ‘half the story’ is nothing more than a cry for attention by propagandists,.

    Who is "News Staff" that posted this hit piece?

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    The previous 3 posters are correct: compare the rates of traffic fatalities in states where MMJ is legal to those where it isn't; also before and after rates for each state that has legalized MMJ.

    Also check the crime statistics in Denver before and after the end of state MJ prohibition.

    Science is meant to inform, not to mislead. Tell the truth or stop calling yourself a science blog.

    One important stat left out.
    What was the number of accidents overall?
    Did it go up down or the same?
    Another report i read said the number of accidents went down.
    Presence does not mean cause.
    If it did the accident stats would have increased accordingly.
    Presence of cannabis only reflects the fact that more people are smoking.
    Presence of chocolate cake in the system could likewise be linked to road accidents.
    http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/05/15/marijuana-fatal-car-crashes-colora...