Medical Marihuana Involved in California Fatal Crashes

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In the Medical Marihuana state of CA, marihuana was found in drivers which resulted in 1,551 fatalities in the last 5 years. Nationally, in the 23 states and D.C. with state-approved Medical Marihuana, there were more than 1,000 fatalities in the single year of 2014. In the 27 states with no legal marihuana of any kind there were 1,619 marihuana related fatalities.

If CA marihuana use increases from the 2014 level of 18.8% to the level of WA and AK (two recreational marihuana states) at 31%, we could expect an additional 223 CA fatalities each year, for about 565 fatalities a year.

Alcohol is also heavily involved in the marihuana fatalities with 46% of the marihuana drivers were also impaired by alcohol at 0.05% and 38% legally DUI at 0.08+ BAC.

Despite the heavy use of alcohol by marihuana drivers, alcohol involvement in fatal crashes has increased less than 1% in the last 5 years.

Drivers with marihuana in Medical Marihuana states had a 29% higher involvement in fatal crashes than No Medical Marihuana states. Every percent increase in CA driver marihuana involvement in crashes will results in 19 more fatalities.

The growing legalization of marihuana for recreational use, along with the present Medical Marihuana use will cause a tidal wave of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.  This has already happened in Washington State where the level of drivers with marihuana is almost equal to the level of drivers DUI, the No.1 preventable traffic safety problem.

For complete paper, please download the PDF here

Medical Marihuana Involved in Fatal Crashes2016Final

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