Thursday, October 18, 2018

Drug-Impaired Driving

Now that Canada has legalized marijuana, I assume that you are already planning your next vacation north of the border. And I imagine that you accept the fact that marijuana is perfectly safe. Eventually, you believe, America will follow Canada down the path to decadence and legalize weed throughout the nation.  Didn’t Bob Dylan sing that everybody must get stoned.

Now, however, it turns out that marijuana is not quite as safe as everyone says it is. The Insurance Institute of the Institute for Highway Safety found that states where marijuana is legal had a notably higher level of traffic accidents. They have invented the new category of drug-impaired driving.

Bloomberg has the story:

As the push to legalize marijuana gains momentum, so is evidence that more permissive policies on the drug are putting motorists at risk.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found, in a study to be released on Thursday, that traffic accidents are rising in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. That followed stark warnings from the National Transportation Safety Board, which on Tuesday issued several recommendations to combat drug-impaired driving.

“The last thing in the world that we want is to introduce another legal substance where we may be adding to that toll and to the carnage on our highways,” said David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute. “With marijuana impairment, we’re just now starting to understand what we don’t know.”

After retail sales of recreational cannabis began, the frequency of collision insurance claims in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington State rose about 6 percent higher than in nearby states where marijuana is still illegal, the IIHS said in the study.

You might find those facts dispositive. If not, here’s Bob:


Bud Green said...

Be neat if insurance companies would automatically quadruple auto insurance rates in states where smoking pot is legal.

ASM826 said...

Until they deal with impaired driving due to cellphones I assume that automobile collisions (not accidents) are considered a normal cost of driving. They will raise rates to reflect their costs and we will all move one.

Shaun F said...

So, are people driving high on pot any different that say people driving high on pharmaceutical drugs?

In who's car would you think you are safer?

Sam L. said...

There are at least six pot stores within 20 miles of me. I will be moving within 6 months to a rural area.

Ares Olympus said...

I'm all for decriminalization given people who otherwise consider themselves as law-abiding middle class citizens have continued to use it for decades, while possession of it is more likely to result in poorer people and minorities getting arrested and fined.

Myself, I'd never use it, and at any price, even if it was free. It seems like a big waste of money, but if people are going to waste their money, at least it can be taxed, and there can be some quality controls, and we won't be rewarding criminals.

I don't know about the driving dangers, although I imagine it can't be worse that that of many prescription drugs that people take for pain relief. And they say sleep deprivation can be as dangerous as alcohol for impairing driving. So marajuana has a lot of competition if we want to be afraid.