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This Correlation Between Legal Medical Marijuana States and Traffic Fatalities Is Shocking

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posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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This Correlation Between Legal Medical Marijuana States and Traffic Fatalities Is Shocking

Ok to start off. The sensationalized headline wasn't my idea. So spoiler alert: the correlation is "shockingly" good; though it does have some caveats. But all-in-all this is good news so let's get to sharing.

Safety remains the primary reason why the DEA and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have held off on rescheduling marijuana for medical purposes. Aside from a lack of approved clinical trial data -- the Food and Drug Administration hasn't exactly been forthcoming with trials designed to test the medical capabilities of cannabis -- regulators have been concerned with the possibility of pot falling into the hands of adolescents, or what might happen if an impaired individual gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Yes. The medical benefits aren't FDA approved yet, but we have good information coming out about that. While it isn't FDA approved yet, it's only a matter of time before it. However, the "stoned" drivers argument is largely still used as a pretext against legalization as well. The evidence against this argument has been largely flimsy. Well this new study may open some eyes up about it.

According to a new study published online in the American Journal of Public Health in November by a team of nine researchers, a surprising trend emerged in medical marijuana legal states.

After the team of researchers reviewed U.S. traffic fatalities between 1985 and 2014 using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the data showed that, on average, medical marijuana legal states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-medical marijuana legal states. This paralleled a 2013 study from three researchers that was published in the Journal of Law and Economics, which showed an 8% to 11% decline in traffic fatalities in the year immediately following the legalization of marijuana.

...

For instance, both California and New Mexico saw their traffic deaths fall by 16% and 17%, respectively, immediately following the passage of medical marijuana laws in the states. However, traffic deaths have gradually increased since this immediate drop.


Two things of note here as well. One I can label as interesting the other a straight up caveat.

It's also important to note that researchers are pretty clear on two things. First, marijuana does indeed impair drivers, but certain hypotheses suggest that marijuana users may be more "aware" of their impairment than drivers who've consumed too much alcohol. Another possibility is simply that drivers have completely substituted marijuana for alcohol and stayed off the roads.

Secondly, researchers are crystal clear that while the data demonstrates an association between medical marijuana legal states and reduced traffic deaths, it can't prove cause and effect. Further studies with more defined variables would be needed to do that.

So in other words correlation != causation. This is why I took umbrage with the article's title.

But nevertheless this is more promising news in favor of decriminalization and ultimately a repeal of federal enforcement of pot. Interestingly enough it is also likely alcohol being EXTREMELY bad for you (in so so so many ways) will go a long way to opening the doors for pot. When you have a legal drug like alcohol that is extremely unhealthy, addictive, has the worst detox reaction of any drug out there, impairs driving ability to an extreme degree, and all sorts of other problems associated with it; and then you have pot, that is practically a SAINT compared to alcohol, being extremely illegal the logic breaks down completely for keeping it that way.
edit on 9-1-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 10:19 AM
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In my opinion and experience with people driving stoned, they almost always are more cautious. Nothing is definite though obviously.
edit on 9-1-2017 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

I mean if you think about it, it even makes sense. People who get drunk are constantly telling you how they aren't drunk (yet) as they are drinking. People who are stoned aren't in denial about their intoxication. They KNOW it. So at a basic level when you compare a drunk person getting into a car versus a stoned person there is a different mental situation going on in the two people's heads.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

While this is awesome news, I see it being a double edged sword in some states. Mine in particular ( NY ) takes in ungodly amounts of $ from DWI's, and despite what they say, they don't want to see that number go down.

Backwards society.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 10:44 AM
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a reply to: AgarthaSeed

It's like back in the 90's when they instituted all the taxes on cigarettes in the name of reducing cigarette consumption. Then when people actually DO stop buying the cigarettes they jack up the taxes to maintain tax revenue levels.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 11:53 AM
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I'm much more worried about the other drivers on the road after a few drinks , or the staggering amount of people driving right now on high doses of various opiates .



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

That might be my casual observation..and in no way does that mean I condone driving while lit up.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: Gatexan
I'm much more worried about the other drivers on the road after a few drinks , or the staggering amount of people driving right now on high doses of various opiates .


But alcohol and its repercussions (drunk driving) is a normal and accepted part of American society.

It doesn't matter how many people die a year of alcohol or alcohol-related incidents - people just say "meh."

Same thing with guns.

But cannabis? It's the devils lettuce.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 12:02 PM
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Best comparison of a stoned vs drunk drivers I've heard so far.
"A drunk person will run a red light and kill someone."
"A stoned person will wait for a stop sign to turn green."

And just because I love this quote.
"The only thing someone smoking pot will assault is a bag of Doritos!"



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 12:05 PM
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Being too drunk to drive vs being too stoned to drive perhaps?

This is opinion so if its not allowed because i have no proof, i understand if its removed.

Drunk people think they are "okay" when they are not to drive as well as being "too drunk to care". If i remeber when i had been either i was very aware of my stoned'ness and so able to walk or get a lift as opposed to to drink where i was not able to tell if i was in a fit state or not. And never did i do anything being i was stoned and didnt care.

Also having driven with friends who smoked (some WHILE driving) i found that they could drive perfectly well, not as this is purely down to the individual and how seasoned they were with the devils herb so again purely circumstantial.

people break the rules as we all know, so those who had made a switch to cannabis over alcohol as a substance of choice for recreational use could simply pose less of a risk to themselfs and others - but this isnt a good reason to say one is better than the other because techinicly having consumed either - is illegal under the law 'driving while intoxicated'.

Im really not surprised the dramatic effects on traffic fatalities has reduced. Alcohol has a well known detrimental effect on all things a person does and is still legal and promoted by almost every movie or TV that exists.

If i had my way both would be illegal but since alcohol isnt can we just stop pretending that because cannabis is MORE illegal than the other that it is infact more evil also.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 12:11 PM
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originally posted by: AgarthaSeed
a reply to: Krazysh0t

While this is awesome news, I see it being a double edged sword in some states. Mine in particular ( NY ) takes in ungodly amounts of $ from DWI's, and despite what they say, they don't want to see that number go down.

Backwards society.


Completely backwards but how else is Andy going to pay for my kids to go to college for "free"? Oh wait... My kids don't qualify. We make too much money. I'm on the refugee list for NY. We just bought a nice chunk of property in Maine so in 2 1/2 years I'm out of this cesspool and moving on to, in this case, quite literally greener pastures since I will legally be able to produce my own medicine again. Despite our supposed medical marijuana here, I can't find any doctors who are certified to prescribe it and the NYSDOH refuses to release a list of physicians able to prescribe it. Between that and the unSAFE act I can't wait to leave. Maine recently voting for full legalization of cannabis is just icing on the cake.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 12:24 PM
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Worst anti-cannabis ad EVER, just down right ridiculous and belittling of those who partake.
edit on 9-1-2017 by RainbowPhoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

This comes as absolutely no surprise to me. I'm hopeful my state, Texas, will begin the process of legalizing marijuana.

Living in the remote country side, I can relate, that at least 50% out here are stoners and the truth is, when they are imbibing, they simply don't drive anywhere. They almost always stay put! They're happy and have no reason to go anywhere.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 02:06 PM
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Since marijuana replaces your internal ambition and motivation, it's more likely that people stoned to theoint of impairment are just too stoned to be bothered with wanting to get in a car and go somewhere -- too much effort.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Good luck! I wish you well there.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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This is the last bastion to these anti- cannabis wankers, stoned driving. People are not aggressive after cannabis, amenable and affable come to mind. Drive while stoned? Russians hacked the American election.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 06:07 PM
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Fatalities may be down but what about fender benders at taco bell? The insurance industry may want to do some studies of their own.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I'll let you know when I'm all settled in and you're welcome to come hang out. I've got a little under 8 acres to enjoy my gardening so there will be an indoor setup to start everything, a heated greenhouse outdoors as well as an additional fenced in area for large outdoor ladies. Plus the dispensaries will all be open by then. I'm going to miss NY. Been here my whole life except for when I was stationed at Ft. Benning but living almost on top of Penobscot Bay, 5 min from the ocean where all my firearms are legal and I won't have to keep some in parts to comply with asinine laws AND be able to enjoy a non narcotic method of relieving pain is something I look forward to.



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 06:47 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
Since marijuana replaces your internal ambition and motivation, it's more likely that people stoned to theoint of impairment are just too stoned to be bothered with wanting to get in a car and go somewhere -- too much effort.


I like what Dennis Leary said in one of his standups..
"Pot does not lead to other drugs, it leads to carpentry."



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 07:16 PM
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When examining 19 states that had medical marijuana laws on the books by 2014, researchers found that their average rate of traffic deaths fell 11 percent after the laws were enacted.
...
The seven states with death rate reductions were California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. Rhode Island [8] and Connecticut [9] saw increased traffic death rates.

ARS Technica - States that enact medical marijuana laws see dips in fatal car crashes.

Might be off on my maths today... but what about the other 10 states? I see they say "by 2014" but shouldn't near half the data also count or deserve mention? What if it supports your conclusion? Or deny it? Shouldn't the extra 10 states be mentioned? I would hope so. But that is an argument about reporting. Sorry for the thread dift.

The report is only "shocking" if you believe the down right lies being spread about marijuana. MJ = Impaired driving AND YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!! More fear mongering even if proven to be false--it is all emotional arguing and real data will never win an emotional argument. Shocking... right?

PS - OP, how is that (Ars Technica) for a proper title?!




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