For years, the number of fatal accidents in Colorado that involved at least one driver who tested positive for marijuana was pretty stable. Then in 2009, Colorado legalized medical marijuana. And the fatal accidents involving this controlled substance began to skyrocket.
In fact, in a new study, researchers looked at all the data from the first six months of 2004–before the state legalized medical marijuana. Then, they compared it to data from the last six months of 2011–after legalized medical marijuana was in full swing.
They found the number of fatal accidents involving the drug more than doubled. In less than 10 years! Plus, Colorado’s fatality numbers in 2011 were significantly higher than the other 34 states in the country without legalized medical marijuana.
Of course, I predicted this would be the case. And now, the numbers are coming in to prove it. And it will soon become an astronomically bigger problem. Now that Colorado and others states recently went “all the way” and fully legalized this intoxicating substance for recreational use.
When you encourage people to take intoxicants, and then allow them to drive,
it only stands to reason that you will increase the number of cases of driving while intoxicated, with more vehicular accidents, and more vehicular fatalities.
I practiced as a Medical Examiner, forensic pathologist, and toxicologist. And I know how all these dots tragically connect. But you don’t have to be an expert to see the writing on the wall. You just need a little common sense. That’s what is lacking–together with a little backbone–in our pandering public officials in some states.
It amazes me that the same groups of politically correct, “nanny-state” politicians and public health professionals–who continually push down acceptable levels of alcohol consumption–are often in the very same possee who think it’s a great idea to “medicalize,” and now fully legalize, marijuana.
As I explained last year, officials in many states want to drop the legal limit for drinking and driving to 0.05 percent. That percentage is so low, many people would not be able to consume a single glass of wine or beer and still legally get behind the wheel, although they would still be fully capable of operating a vehicle. (This limit would especially affect women, who on average have a smaller body size to distribute and dilute the alcohol.)
Medical science and toxicology show levels this low do not cause intoxication or influence the ability to operate a vehicle. And I know as a Medical Examiner that the real problem with “drunk driving” is consistently from heavy drinkers who had a dozen drinks too many, not just one or two. (But why not use this problem as another way for heavy-handed government to start coming after all the peaceful, law abiding citizens? ) Plus, according to the study, Colorado’s alcohol-related driving fatalities between 2004 and 2011 time remained completely stable. Unlike its marijuana-related driving fatalities.
So maybe these politicos just didn’t get their science or arithmetic right. Or maybe they did. And they just don’t care. Alcohol is on the politically correct “no-no” list. Just like tobacco (the other plant some people smoke), red meat, fat, salt, and cholesterol. And that’s that. But another killer intoxicant is just fine with them.
But enough about the mind-boggling double standard. What’s the solution to the marijuana problem? How can we decrease motor vehicle fatalities related to marijuana?
The University of Colorado’s Department of Psychiatry– the “experts” who uncovered these disturbing findings–suggested we will now need more nanny-state sponsored “education and prevention programs to prevent marijuana-impaired driving.”
That’s it? More posters and PSAs on TV? And more propaganda for clueless politicians and public health experts to spend our money on?
You know the University of Colorado sits at a very high altitude, where oxygen levels are lower. The effects of low oxygen (hypoxia) combined with intoxicants must make these professors even dumber than most of today’s politically correct university professors. Of course, the rest of the state is at high altitude also.
Ironically, the proportion of drivers in fatal accidents who tested positive for marijuana was actually decreasing in Colorado prior to the new law in 2009 allowing medical usage.
They should have just left well enough alone in the first place.
Apparently, common sense commonly evaporates in a cloud of smoke in the misty mountains of Colorado.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about the proven “problems with the medicalization of marijuana.”
- “Trends in fatal motor vehicle crashes before and after marijuana commercialization in Colorado,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014;