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Increased Use of Marijuana Leads to More Car Accidents, Studies Say

We have heard of the benefits that marijuana has for people with glaucoma and seizures, and of its usefulness in stopping cancer from spreading, but it does have its disadvantages.

In March of 2017, a bus crash that killed 12 people in Texas was caused by a 20 year old man who was under the influence of marijuana. A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that there has been a increase in drug-related crashes, and that something must to be done to address it.

Even though the released report does not show an increase in deaths caused by legal use of marijuana, it does however show an increase in car crashes in general in correlation to the legal use of drugs.

The first study that was released by the Highway Loss Data Institute¬† found that crashes are up as much is 6% in states with legal weed use compared to neighboring states that haven’t legalized the drug’s use. This was done by study of insurance claims, with other studies also utilizing accidents reported by the police.

Other research found that drivers who smoke weed before driving display slower thinking, perceptual skills, and reaction times. These skills are of course are very important for someone who is operating heavy machinery, and are similarly impacted by those under the influence of more common drugs (such as alcohol) as well.

The NTSB said in their final statement that police across the country need more training and tools to handle situations like these.

Currently, there is no national standard nor standardized tests to determine if someone is under the influence of marijuana in the way that we have for alcohol. Eventually, a system will need to be created to hopefully stop accidents like the one in Texas.