Does marijuana intoxication lead to more driving deaths?

Posted on: February 17, 2011

A recent article by a local TV station says that drugged driving rate is getting worse in Colorado. While drunken driving fatalities are dipping in the state the number of drugged driving deaths is on the rise.

The state legislature is now considering a legal limit for how much marijuana a driver can have in their system because the cause of the increase in driving deaths is marijuana. Marijuana is a substance that causes impairment. Colorado like other states has approved the use of medical marijuana.

The legislature is considering a bill to set a legal driving limit for marijuana in a driver’s system at 5 nanograms of THC per milligram of blood. Setting a limit only makes sense because there is a limit of the amount of alcohol one can have before arrested for drunk driving. Why should use of medical marijuana be any different?

However, pro-medical marijuana attorney Sean McAllister thinks the 5 nanogram limit is too low. He says that the level of marijuana stays in a person’s system longer and that the limit should be higher. That’s comforting news. Is that driver behind you high on marijuana in the middle of the day? Should you be worried?

Colorado State Patrol has found that some suspects are unable to touch their noses or unable to standup. Others made very bizarre statements because they were under the influence of some sort of a drug. While alcohol continues to be responsible for the majority of impaired driving fatalities, the percentage of drug-related deaths on the roads has continued to climb since 2005. According to an Impaired Driving Fatalities Chart provided by CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) from 2005 there were 35% and in 2009 it is up to 48%.

If the medical marijuana legal limit legislation is passed the new legal limit law would take effect in July 2011.


2 Responses to "Does marijuana intoxication lead to more driving deaths?"

Thank you so very much for posting this… Absolutely LOVE it!! Wish there was a way to “fav” individual posts on WordPress, would definitely favor this post.

Regards, Aaron
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