States institute legal limits for THC while driving.
As one of the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Washington has seen an increase in fatal car accidents with drivers under the influence of the drug. According to the latest research from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, legal limits for marijuana usage and driving aren’t supported by science, which may let impaired drivers go free.
Researchers found that the number of drivers involved in fatal accident who frequently used the drug doubled from 8 to 17 percent between 2013 and 2014. The study also showed that one in six drivers in 2014 involved in a fatal accident had recently used marijuana.
To combat the rise of fatal accidents with drivers partaking in the drug, many states have set up legal limits on the amount of active THC a driver can have in their system. “The significant increase in fatal crashes involving marijuana is alarming,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.”
However, setting up limits can be rather difficult considering marijuana can affect people differently and THC levels can drop before a blood test can be completed. While the drug may be legal for recreational or medicinal use in some states, the Foundation recommends against using marijuana before or while driving.
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