Washington Marijuana-Related Traffic Fatalities Double After Pot Legalized

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, an exponential increase in the number of deaths involving marijuana-impaired drivers occurred between 2013 and 2014, reports KOIN.

Marijuana was legalized in the state of Washington in 2014; between 2010 and 2013 the number of marijuana-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes ranged from 32 to 38 per year. But in 2014, after pot became legal, that number skyrocketed to 75. In half of the 2014 cases, the drug-addled drivers tested above the state’s legal limit for being under the influence of the drug while driving. Many of the heavily-drugged drivers also tested positive for alcohol or other kinds of drugs.

KOIN reported that commission member Shelly Baldwin noted the number of alcohol-related fatal crashes has plunged.

Three times the number of dead drivers had legal marijuana in their system nationwide in 2010 compared to 1999, according to a study from Columbia University. The study found that marijuana use was part of roughly 4 percent of fatal crashes in 1999 and 12 percent in 2010.


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