Is Pot Legalization to Blame for the Rise in Colorado’s Traffic Deaths?

Smoking concept against black background

Colorado began legalizing pot, or marijuana, for personal use in 2012. Then the commercial sale of pot began in 2014.

Traffic Fatalities in Colorado Are Going Up

According to a Denver Post article, traffic fatalities involving pot in someone’s system have drastically gone up since 2013. They claim their analysis of the data and coroner reports show the most comprehensive look yet regarding whether roads in the state have become more dangerous or not since the legalization of pot.

In NHTSA’s data, there’s a 40 percent increase of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado between 2013 and 2016. Drivers who tested positive for marijuana use increased 145 percent from 47 in 2013 to 115 in 2016.

But is Legalization of Pot Really to Blame?

Colorado transportation and public safety officials say that the rise in pot-related traffic deaths cannot be definitively linked to legalized pot. However, they say, the quick increase of pot usage since 2013 should not be ignored. Officials need to highlight the potential dangers of mixing pot use and driving. The vast majority of drivers surviving fatal crashes and testing for pot showed that they had used the drug within hours of testing.

Smart Start Separates Drinking From Driving®, but also does not agree with mixing any type of drug while getting behind the wheel. One point no one can deny is that pot significantly impairs your driving skills, such as your judgment, motor coordination and reaction time.

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