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  • "The Effects of Marijuana on Car Accidents"

  • Is cannabis-impaired driving a public health and safety concern?

  • Well, the number of tickets went up for cannabis-impaired driving

  • in Washington State after legalization, and the proportion of drivers

  • in fatal car crashes in Colorado who tested positive went up.

  • But in both cases, this may simply reflect the general increase

  • in marijuana use overall.

  • It doesn't mean the cannabis is causing the crashes.

  • Yeah, there's lots of evidence correlating marijuana use with car accidents.

  • But you have to ask yourself who uses marijuana?

  • Mostly young people and males.

  • And guess who has higher crash risk regardless of what they smoke?

  • Young people and males.

  • But taking that into account, it does seem that roughly 20 to 30%

  • of traffic crashes involving cannabis use occur because of the cannabis use.

  • To put that in perspective, though, that number is more like

  • 85% when it comes to alcohol.

  • Yeah, but are the cannabis crashes just low velocity fender bender

  • bumps from some wasted driver going like five miles an hour?

  • After a systematic review of the literature, this compilation of studies

  • examining acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collisions

  • found a near doubling of risk of a driver being involved

  • in a motor vehicle collision resulting in serious injury or death.”

  • So, that's pretty serious; though again, alcohol is even worse.

  • Yes, cannabis may double or triple the risk of car crashes,

  • but alcohol may multiply the risk like 6 to 15-fold.

  • The combo may be worse, though;

  • 25 times the odds of fatal car crash involvement testing positive for both.

  • The safety consequence of cannabis intoxication when driving

  • is listed as a primary concern about cannabis legalization.

  • OK, well what happened in the states where marijuana was legalized?

  • How much did traffic fatalities go up?

  • They didn't. In fact, they went down. What?

  • Why does legalizing pot reduce traffic fatalities?

  • Because of reduced alcohol consumption.

  • They found that legalization of weed was associated

  • with reduced alcohol consumption; so yes, more drugged driving,

  • but less drunk drivingand that's so much worse,

  • that overall, fatalities went down.

  • So, perhaps we'd also see less liver disease,

  • less alcohol-induced brain damage,

  • as pot substitutes for some of the alcohol use.

  • Cannabis is unlikely to produce as much harm as alcohol

  • because, unlike alcohol, cannabis does not cause liver

  • or gastrointestinal diseases, not fatal in overdoses,

  • and does not appear as neurotoxic as alcohol,

  • and it's not as potent a cause of car crashes as alcohol, either.

  • The health problems of cannabis dependence,

  • like bronchitis and memory impairment, are much less serious,

  • on average, than those suffering from alcohol dependence.

  • But this does not mean that cannabis dependence is a minor problem,

  • but public health authorities can be criticized for bringing that up.

  • It's like in the 40s and 50s after the repeal of prohibition,

  • you still need to warn people about the problems of

  • heavy drinking, liver cirrhosis, alcoholism,

  • but you'd just get dismissed as some temperance propagandist.

  • And now we see a similar thing, where the public health profession

  • wants to educate people about the adverse health effects

  • of cannabis, but are dismissed as reefer madness hysterics.

  • Still, it's important to put these adverse health effects in perspective.

  • How does the safety of cannabis stack up against alcohol and tobacco?

  • According to the CDC, alcohol is linked to approximately

  • 88,000 deaths per year, whereas the deaths due to cannabis

  • are from things like car accidents, and they go down

  • when more people smoke pot because alcohol is so much worse.

  • With hindsight, we can clearly see the enormous problems

  • that have been caused by the legal drugstobacco and alcohol.

  • If asked to decide today which psychoactive drugs should be legal,

  • cannabis might well be much higher on the list.

"The Effects of Marijuana on Car Accidents"


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Friday Favorites: The Effects of Marijuana on Car Accidents

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    VoiceTube staff 發佈於 2024 年 03 月 22 日