There is a growing movement across the nation to either decriminalize or legalize the possession and use of marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes. Many claim that the movement in favor of legalization is based, in part, on the ideas that marijuana is a safe drug, criminal possession cases are not worth prosecuting, the war on drugs has resulted in needless incarceration, and the regulation of the marijuana industry increases tax revenues.
After alcohol, cannabis is the substance that is used most frequently. While the effects of alcohol on driving are well understood, the effects of cannabis vary from consumer to consumer and depend on the product, dosage, and potential tolerance of the individual. According to a new study, states that have legalized marijuana are experiencing a decrease in potentially risky behavior when compared to states that maintain illegality.
Researchers believe that driving under the influence of cannabis is less dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol, and they are also less likely to step in when they see someone else acting recklessly. The number of car accidents or injuries brought on by driving while intoxicated has not increased since cannabis has been legalized.
The RTI International study’s authors concluded that, compared to neither recreational nor medicinal legalized states, the likelihood of self-reported DUIC was “much lower.” “Compared to current users residing in states without legalized cannabis, current cannabis users in legalized recreational and medical only cannabis states were much less likely to report driving within three hours of getting high in the prior 30 days.”
Driving requires complete focus, making the right choices at the appropriate moment can decrease the chances of a fatality. This research gives evidence to support claims of marijuana being a safe drug, criminal possession cases not being worth prosecuting, and needless incarceration from the war on drugs. As always it is important to follow local regulations and be safe anytime you get behind the wheel.