Weed Crash

Marijuana use increases risk of car crashes

(RxWiki News) The legalization of marijuana is a polarizing issue of which both sides have valid points. However, a new study from Columbia University has given those who would like to keep it illegal a little bit more ammo.

Millions of people have driven a vehicle while under the influence of illicit drugs – especially marijuana, according to a 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. There hasn’t been many studies to examine the link between marijuana use and the risk of car accidents until now.

"Do not drive after smoking marijuana."

Senior author, Guohua Li, M.D., Dr. Ph., a professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, found that drivers are twice as likely to get in a crash if they smoke marijuana. The researchers analyzed nine studies and eight of them proved that marijuana use increases the likelihood of accidents.

There was also evidence that suggests the more marijuana you smoke the higher the chances are of crashing. Marijuana was the most commonly detected drug in 28 percent of driver fatalities and even 11 percent of the general driving population.

Before government officials start implementing policies and legalizing marijuana and even medical marijuana, more research is needed to understand the dangers, Dr. Li concludes.

The meta-analysis was published on October 4 in the Epidemiologic Reviews and was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health.

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Review Date: 
October 18, 2011