Marijuana use is a common cause of car accidents. I heard some guy on the radio yesterday talk about marijuana use. He had called in to the talk show to voice his opinion on the latest moves to legalize pot around the country. He was proud to state that he smoked pot pretty much all day, every day. He even has smoked it while on the job. So, what did he do for a living that allowed him to smoke pot and work? You guessed it, he was a commercial driver. While he was proud to state the extent of his illegal drug use to make the point that he was o.k. and therefore the drug should be legal, he really pointed out how dangerous increased use will be. Car accidents are 3 to 7 times more likely the fault of a high driver when one is involved in the crash. Assuming that this fellow drove a big rig is even more of a concern as driver intoxication is always a concern in truck accidents.
It will be interesting to see the result of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and other places. Will impaired driving accidents go up or down? I really don’t have any idea but I cannot help but assume that legalization will lead to more use and that will lead to more people smoking pot while driving or shortly before getting behind the wheel. In discussing this issue with others I often ask, “Will legalization lead to more or less car accidents?” If the answer is more car crashes, then I don’t know if it is worth the risk.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a great resource on the affects of marijuana use including the effect the drug has on driving and causing car accidents.