Fatal Crashes Involving Drivers Who Test Positive For Marijuana Use Increased In Washington State

A recent study has uncovered that the percentage of drivers in Washington state who were involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana has doubled since the state legalized the drug for recreational use in 2012.  It was found that between 2008 and 2012 – a five-year period before the drug was legal – an estimated 8.8% of Washington drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for THC.  That rate rose to 18% between 2013 and 2017 when marijuana was legalized.

Currently, eleven states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use. Another 22 states, with New Jersey being one of them, have legalized it for medical uses only.

In terms of driving while using marijuana, a AAA study this past July revealed that nearly 70% of Americans think it is unlikely a driver will get caught by police for driving shortly after using marijuana.  Additionally, an estimated 14.8 million drivers reported getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days.

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