A new study finds an increase in accident insurance claims in three states that have approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use. According the Highway Safety Institute, the number of vehicle collisions reported to insurance companies in in States that have legal marijuana is 3 percent higher than what would have been expected if those states had not made it legal to buy pot. We see strong evidence of an increased crash risk in states that have approved recreational marijuana sales. While research finds a greater crash risk, his study does not say if the increase in collisions in the three states were directly caused by drivers who were high. The study also did not look at highway fatality rates in the states that legalized marijuana.
To determine whether collision rates are higher now in state that issue marijuana cards in Florida and other States than their would be if recreational pot use was still illegal, the institute compared the collision claim rates before and after legalization with the collision claim rates of comparable states where pot is still illegal. The study comes as more states are considering legislation to approve pot sales. Opponents say legalization will lead to a number of problems including the increased likelihood of people driving under the influence. Since Florida first approved cannabis, Marijuana Doctors in Tampa Florida that question of whether high drivers are getting into more accidents has been suggested, but never definitively proven, partially because there is not a field sobriety test to check drivers specifically for marijuana. Another reason it’s hard to determine exactly how many accidents are caused by stoned drivers is that drivers testing positive for having THC often have alcohol in their system as well.