Is marijuana legalization increasing car accidents?

While recreational marijuana is not legal in Kentucky, understanding how the legalization of this drug affects other states is helpful. One issue that is coming up concerning states where marijuana is legal for recreational use is an increase in the number of car accidents, according to CNN. Studies and information show states, such as Oregon, Washington and Colorado, have had significant increases in accidents even when neighboring states have not.

The main connection is that when you use marijuana, it has an effect on how fast you can react. You slow down in many ways, including your ability to perceive events around you. This is similar to drunk driving.

While it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug, even in states where marijuana is legal, it does not stop people from doing it. It is also much more difficult for law enforcement to properly test if someone is under the influence of marijuana. There are standards for testing for alcohol but none exist for testing for drugs. It can be more difficult to determine if someone is driving impaired and to prove it in court, which may mean drugged drivers do not get convicted as much and can return to the roadways.

As more states start to legalize this drug, there is a need for better testing and more work to keep drugged drivers off the road before there is as bad of an issue as there is with alcohol. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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