AAA: Number of fatal crashes involving THC in WA has doubled since the legalization of marijuana


WASHINGTON (WSYR-TV) — A new study coming out of Washington state is concerning for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study revealed that since the state legalized recreational marijuana, the number of fatal crashes involving THC has doubled.

Leaders of the organization say this new research should be alarming for everyone, as it raises traffic safety concerns across the country.

Washington state was one of the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana back in 2012. This study finds that in the five years before that change, an estimated 8.8% of Washington drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for THC. That’s the drug’s main psychoactive ingredient. And in the five years after the law was passed, that rate rose to 18%.

Representatives for AAA say driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous because it slows reaction times and clouds judgment.

To date, 11 states, plus Washington D.C., have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

In the meantime, Gov. Cuomo has promised to follow suit by this year, after lawmakers couldn’t come to an agreement last year. Leaders could not agree on the age limit, where the revenue from the drug sales should go, and if local governments, cities, and towns, should be able to opt-out of the legalization.


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