I recently read a very compelling article about how researchers are claiming that there is an association between medical marijuana laws and reduced traffic fatalities. A study from the Columbia School of Public Health suggested that states where medical marijuana has been legalized experienced less traffic-related deaths than states where it remains illegal. The study is published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study was based on data from 1985-2014 from the Fatality Analysis Supporting System (FASS), a nationwide account of traffic-related fatalities. The study examined the association between drivers, passengers, bikers, and pedestrians. Columbia researchers also evaluated the connection between dispensaries and traffic fatalities within communities.
The results specifically suggested that there was an 11 percent reduction for ages 14 to 25, 12 percent for drivers aged 26 to 44, and 9 percent for 45 and older. This striking evidence could be the groundwork for some unprecedented new findings in marijuana research, which could seriously influence government policy.
So the question is, how could smoking weed possibly lead to safer roads?
Potential reasons for the reduction in fatal car accidents could be that marijuana usage has a lesser impact on psychomotor skills than alcohol, meaning slightly less dangerous drivers on the road. Another reason being that marijuana usage is associated with a decline in beer sales, research has suggested.
This evidence is encouraging for more research being conducted. That way in the future we may use the findings to promote safer, more secure highways and roads. I believe it is important to look at the idea of marijuana legalization from all angles and examine every possible benefit it may serve to our society. The evidence speaks for itself, so let us use it to our benefit.