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New study finds uptick in crashes where marijuana is legal

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 16:57:41-04

Less than a month ago a crash in Renton, Washington left a child severely injured and police suspect marijuana and alcohol were to blame. A recent study done by the Highway Loss Institute shows a 3 percent increase in crashes in Oregon, Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana is legal.

Senior Vice President of HLI, Matt Moore believes marijuana is a contributing factor in crashes in Colorado, Oregon and Washington over the past 3 years. The study the institute conducted looked at crashes dating back to 2012.

Mason Tvert a marijuana legalization advocate says this study leaves more questions than answers.

“The states that made marijuana legal appear to have seen some increases in collision claims, but there is no evidence that marijuana contributed to those increases.”

However, Moore believes this provides clear answers that crash risks have increased in these three states where marijuana is legal, but understands that more research needs to be done.

"We'll continue to monitor these states and add additional states to the analysis. We have a variety of other work planned to attempt to understand the relationship between marijuana and crash risk and injuries and crashes."

For the states considering legalizing marijuana, Moore hopes they take a look at his new findings. As for advocates of marijuana legalization, they say there is still little to no evidence proving the use of marijuana caused any crashes.