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Drivers less likely to get behind the wheel stoned in U.S. states with legal weed

May 10, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Results show there was little difference between states with medically legal weed versus those where marijuana is completely illegal.

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A new study has concluded that self-reported driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) in U.S. states that have legalized recreational marijuana was lower than states where weed was illegal.

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The study, which surveyed a variety of cannabis users, offered several possible reasons for this trend, including the fact that in states where recreational weed is legal, those who purchase it are likely to receive more information about the risks and responsibilities of weed use, while those purchasing it off the street are not.

There is also packaging and labelling to consider. “States that have not legalized cannabis cannot regulate the labelling of cannabis products, while many recreational and medical states require warning labels and instructions on products,” the authors of the study wrote.

These results present a direct contrast to other studies that are often used by those who oppose cannabis legalization, such as a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation that found marijuana presence doubled in fatally injured drivers between 2007 and 2016.

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While numbers do not lie, they can be misleading. With more states legalizing cannabis, there is much broader access to it; millions of people are within their legal rights to consume it.

While the National Council of State Legislators quoted the transportation department report, it also noted that “drugs such as marijuana can also stay in the system for weeks, thus appearing in roadside tests while no longer causing impairment.”

The time in which marijuana can stay in one’s system is one of the biggest hurdles and contentions in these accusations and criminal charges. As previously reported, DUID cases involving marijuana get tossed out of court many times in legal states simply because impairment cannot be proven.

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Still, this does not mean cannabis-induced driving violations do not occur and cannot be prosecuted.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, “Thirty-three states have ‘effects-based’ driving under the influence of marijuana laws that criminalize a person for driving while they are truly impaired, which is determined based on all available evidence.”

There are 17 states with per se or “zero tolerance laws,” where, in prove the case, one simply needs to present blood test evidence showing there was a certain level of THC in the driver’s system.

Regardless of whether a person lives in a state where weed is legal or not, driving safely is always important. While some U.S. states have adopted strict zero tolerance laws to combat marijuana-impaired driving, this recent study found that education, not stricter laws, is what may be needed.

In its conclusion, study authors write: “Although all states should educate its citizens about the potential dangers of using cannabis and driving, this analysis suggests that states without legal cannabis are particularly in need of DUIC prevention efforts.”

The FreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

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This post was originally published by our media partner here.

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