Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

States That Legalized Medical Marijuana Have Less Fatal Traffic Accidents

A new study led by Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado-Denver, revealed that states where the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been legalized had fewer fatal traffic accidents.

Rees said: “We were astounded by how little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana… We looked into traffic fatalities because there is good data, and the data allow us to test whether alcohol was a factor… Traffic fatalities are an important outcome from a policy perspective because they represent the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 to 34.”

The study involved an analysis of government data, 1990 – 2009, from the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was published by the non-profit labor research organization IZA, which is associated with the University of Bonn in Germany.

The study authors conducted a comparison between traffic deaths in states that have legalized medical marijuana, versus states that have not done so. The results of the analysis indicated that in states where medical marijuana use is legal, fatal car crashes dropped by 9 percent. This decrease was being attributed to a decrease in drunk driving.

The researchers determined further that medical marijuana laws brought about reduced car crashes more in men than in women, which matched data that indicated that men were more likely to register as medical marijuana users when compared against women. They also found that there was no increase in teenage smoking of marijuana in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.


  1. Brandt Hardin

    Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster featuring Uncle Willie Nelson and The Teapot Party for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at Drop in and let me know what you think!

  2. malcolm kyle

    An appeal to all Prohibitionists:

    Most of us are aware by now that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high, ‘no matter what.’ So why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. If you remotely believe that people will one day quit using any of these ‘at present’ illegal drugs, then you are exhibiting a degree of naivety parallel only with those poor deluded wretches who voluntarily drank the poisoned Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

    Even if you cannot stand the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and over a trillion dollars on this dangerous farce. Practically everybody is now aware that Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. So why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so proud & free nation? Do you actually think you may have something to lose If we were to start basing drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies?

    Maybe you’re a police officer, a prison guard or a local politician. Possibly you’re scared of losing employment, overtime-pay, the many kick-backs and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks?

    Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem.

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

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