Traffic Body Counts Decreased in States Flexin’ Legal Weed, Says Report

Traffic Body Counts Decreased in States Flexin’ Legal Weed, Says Report

Yo, listen up, fam! I just read this dope article on Quartz Advisor that’s got some mad interesting info about traffic fatalities and legalizing that dank weed. Check it out, it’s called “Legalizing Marijuana Hasn’t Made Roads Less Safe” and it dropped on Oct. 24.

So, here’s the deal, right? According to the report, in four states where they fully legalized marijuana in 2016 – California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada – traffic fatalities either went down or stayed the same in the three years after legalization. On the other hand, them five states that didn’t legalize cannabis saw a slight increase in traffic fatalities. But hold up, there’s more to the story.

The report also did a big study on traffic data in the US and Canada, and guess what? They couldn’t find no statistically significant change in accidents and fatalities after legalization. So basically, legalizing weed ain’t making the roads less safe.

Now, here’s a real shocker: alcohol, which is fully legal in all 50 states and D.C., is responsible for almost a third of all car crash deaths. Yeah, you heard that right. Booze be causing way more harm than that sweet Mary Jane.

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To get the legit data, Quartz used info from the National Safety Council (NSC). They wanted to be all clear and consistent, so they focused on those four states I mentioned earlier and compared their vehicle death rates to the national average. And get this, they even checked out five states – Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming – that still haven’t legalized weed. Gotta cover all bases, you know?

Now let’s talk numbers. When you include the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, traffic fatalities went up across the board. But even then, states that didn’t legalize adult-use cannabis only saw a “slight increase” in fatalities. The states that did legalize weed had a 6.0% increase in the vehicle death rate between 2016 and 2021, which is slightly less than the national average of 6.2%. And get this, those non-legal states actually saw a drop of 0.7% in the death rate. Crazy, right?

But hold up, things get even more interesting when you take out 2020 and 2021 from the equation. Those years were straight-up wild because of the pandemic, and traffic fatalities shot through the roof. The whole US saw a spike of 18.9% in traffic fatality rates from 2019 to 2021. And you won’t believe it, but the states that legalized marijuana in 2016 had a similar increase of 19.9%! But get this, them non-legal states, which tend to be more rural, actually saw a decrease of 2.3% in the death rate. Who woulda thought?

Now, before you go blazin’ up and hoppin’ behind the wheel, there’s something you should know. There’s this study published in The American Journal of Addictions that says cannabis does affect your driving skills. They advise against it and all that. But here’s the twist: most stoned drivers only show small impairments on actual road tests! Yeah, crazy right? Experienced smokers who drive on a set course barely show any functional impairment under the influence of weed.

But yo, here’s some real talk for ya: millions of Americans be getting high and then gettin’ in their cars. High Times reported back in December 2019 that around 12 million adults said they drove under the influence of marijuana in 2018. That’s a lot of people getting lit and hittin’ the road.

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And check this out, fam: an American Auto Association (AAA) report found that almost 70% of Americans think it’s unlikely to get caught by the cops while driving high. AAA also dropped the bomb that around 14.8 million drivers got behind the wheel within an hour of smokin’ that good-good in the last 30 days. That’s some risky business right there.

But let me drop a truth bomb on you, my peeps. Traffic fatalities went through the roof in the next two years ’cause of that damn COVID-19 and all them lockdowns. Shit got real crazy out there.

So, there you have it, fam. Legalizing weed ain’t makin’ the roads less safe. In fact, it looks like alcohol is causing way more trouble. But don’t get it twisted, smoking and driving ain’t cool either. So stay safe, keep your eyes on the road, and maybe save that joint for when you reach your destination. Peace out!

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