Study: Marijuana Legalization Reduces Traffic Deaths

sceneLegalizing pot across the nation would save many lives. The University of Colorado Denver Newsroom explains:

A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly 9 percent drop in traffic deaths and a 5 percent reduction in beer sales.

“Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” said Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

The researchers collected data from a variety of sources including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.

“We were astounded by how little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana,” Rees said. “We looked into traffic fatalities because there is good data, and the data allow us to test whether alcohol was a factor.”

Anderson noted that traffic deaths are significant from a policy standpoint. “Traffic fatalities are an important outcome from a policy perspective because they represent the leading cause of death among Americans ages five to 34,” he said.

The economists analyzed traffic fatalities nationwide, including the 13 states that legalized medical marijuana between 1990 and 2009. In those states, they found evidence that alcohol consumption by 20- through 29-year-olds went down, resulting in fewer deaths on the road.

, , , , , ,

  • ghostface

    My rationale is this. The reality is that the legalization of marijuana = the legalization of the US hemp industry.  Which therein lies an alternative energy source that can basically do anything a hydrocarbon can.  What will this inevitably do to large sectors of the economy predominantly influenced by the hand of big oil, or other big synthetic industries for that matter? 
    Someone please help me with this picture.

    • chubby

       not only this, but a plant that has medicinal value, with such a variety of phenotypes that can treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders that can be grown in your back yard. also, the change in perspective (my theory of why some don’t like toking) that causes not only introspection, but questioning the foundations of culture and reality.

      • Adam

        Exactly – because smoking moderate amounts of weed (not heavy, chronic use, which does have negative effects, although far less than most other drugs legal or illegal) makes you realize how absurd life is and how most of society and its “rules” are just blinds: very old but still artificial conditioning to keep people angry, nervous, and selfish.

    • Mr Willow

      It wouldn’t only hurt the oil barons. 

      Read the beginning of the article again: A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly 9 percent drop in traffic deaths and a 5 percent reduction in beer sales. 

      And complete legalization of recreational use would most likely see that figure rise considerably. But beyond even that, the hemp plant can be used to manufacture paper (lumber industry), make all manner of textiles (cotton industry), and as has been pointed out ad nauseum, it has a variety of medicinal purposes (pharmaceutical industry). 

      None of these enterprises would cease to exist with the legalization of marijuana, mind you. But the profits lost by those who control and operate these industries would be intolerable—because they could have made a billion dollars in any given year instead of a measly five-hundred million (as an example). 

      Plus, the marijuana plant can be grown just about anywhere, and the commonality of the resource would make the price of products produced with hemp would (theoretically) be less than the same product produced with any other resource. 

  • ghostface

    My rationale is this. The reality is that the legalization of marijuana = the legalization of the US hemp industry.  Which therein lies an alternative energy source that can basically do anything a hydrocarbon can.  What will this inevitably do to large sectors of the economy predominantly influenced by the hand of big oil, or other big synthetic industries for that matter? 
    Someone please help me with this picture.

  • chubby

     not only this, but a plant that has medicinal value, with such a variety of phenotypes that can treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders that can be grown in your back yard. also, the change in perspective (my theory of why some don’t like toking) that causes not only introspection, but questioning the foundations of culture and reality.

  • chubby

     not only this, but a plant that has medicinal value, with such a variety of phenotypes that can treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders that can be grown in your back yard. also, the change in perspective (my theory of why some don’t like toking) that causes not only introspection, but questioning the foundations of culture and reality.

  • chubby

     not only this, but a plant that has medicinal value, with such a variety of phenotypes that can treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders that can be grown in your back yard. also, the change in perspective (my theory of why some don’t like toking) that causes not only introspection, but questioning the foundations of culture and reality.

  • Malk

    go science go science rah rah rah!
    its a beautiful thing, that pharma hates because you’re worth more money when you’re sick, disfigured, or depressed because your child was killed walking home from school by a drunk 17 year old.

  • Malk

    go science go science rah rah rah!
    its a beautiful thing, that pharma hates because you’re worth more money when you’re sick, disfigured, or depressed because your child was killed walking home from school by a drunk 17 year old.

  • Adam

    Exactly – because smoking moderate amounts of weed (not heavy, chronic use, which does have negative effects, although far less than most other drugs legal or illegal) makes you realize how absurd life is and how most of society and its “rules” are just blinds: very old but still artificial conditioning to keep people angry, nervous, and selfish.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IEEHRRSUA3Q62TAVG4FLPQOPLY Will

    Can you believe this, I went to the liquor store and there was a guy giving free samples. I kid you not. When asked if I wanted one, I told the guy I don’t even want to drive with the smell of alcohol on my breath. If I happened to get pulled over, it would turn a short stop into a prolonged one at best.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IEEHRRSUA3Q62TAVG4FLPQOPLY Will

    Can you believe this, I went to the liquor store and there was a guy giving free samples. I kid you not. When asked if I wanted one, I told the guy I don’t even want to drive with the smell of alcohol on my breath. If I happened to get pulled over, it would turn a short stop into a prolonged one at best.

  • Mr Willow

    It wouldn’t only hurt the oil barons. 

    Read the beginning of the article again: A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly 9 percent drop in traffic deaths and a 5 percent reduction in beer sales. 

    And complete legalization of recreational use would most likely see that figure rise considerably. But beyond even that, the hemp plant can be used to manufacture paper (lumber industry), make all manner of textiles (cotton industry), and as has been pointed out ad nauseum, it has a variety of medicinal purposes (pharmaceutical industry). 

    None of these enterprises would cease to exist with the legalization of marijuana, mind you. But the profits lost by those who control and operate these industries would be intolerable—because they could have made a billion dollars in any given year instead of a measly five-hundred million (as an example). 

    Plus, the marijuana plant can be grown just about anywhere, and the commonality of the resource would make the price of products produced with hemp would (theoretically) be less than the same product produced with any other resource. 

  • DeepCough

    From the works of the great entheogenic researcher Bill Hicks:

    “Say you’re driving, and you been smoking pot–you’re only goin’ four miles an hour.”

  • DeepCough

    From the works of the great entheogenic researcher Bill Hicks:

    “Say you’re driving, and you been smoking pot–you’re only goin’ four miles an hour.”

21