Printed from

Crashes in pot states up as much as 6%: Highway safety groups

Posted On: Oct. 24, 2018 12:59 PM CST

Crashes in pot states up as much as 6%: Highway safety groups

Crashes have increased by up to 6% in four states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use compared with neighboring states that have not done so, said the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institutes on Wednesday.

The Arlington, Virginia-based organizations said analysts compared the data from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, which have legalized marijuana, with the control states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The combined state analysis is based on collision loss data from January 2012 through October 2017.

A separate IHIS study examined 2012-2016 police-reported crashes before and after retail sales began in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, and concluded the three states combined saw a 5.2% increase in the rate of crashes per million vehicle registrations, compared with neighboring states that did not legalize marijuana sales.

The statement said that while driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, determining impairment is challenging because unlike alcohol, the amount of marijuana present in a person’s body does not consistently relate to impairment.

The statement said legalization of marijuana for recreational use is pending in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In November, referendums on marijuana will be held Michigan and North Dakota, while Missouri and Utah voters will decide whether to expand medical marijuana laws in their states.