Marijuana Use Linked to Increase in Fatal Crashes

Marijuana Use Linked to Increase in Fatal Crashes

Everyone knows that driving drunk is a horrible idea, but that message doesn’t seem to be hitting home when it comes to smoking pot and driving. 

Marijuana use has been linked to a rise in fatal car crashes according to a new study published by Columbia University. From 2000-2010, the number of fatal crashes involving the use of marijuana tripled and the results could raise new concerns about the legalization of marijuana use.

Researchers from Columbia University conducted toxicological investigations of nearly 24,000 motor vehicle fatalities and concluded that marijuana use played at least some role in 12 percent of those deaths.

SEE ALSO: Car Crashes Cost US Economy Almost a Trillion Dollars a Year

Another study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that marijuana can impair a teen’s driving while also lowering their IQ. In addition, NHTSA found in a 2010 survey that one in eight high school seniors admitted to driving after smoking marijuana. Federal data shows that nearly half of drivers fatally injured in a crash that tested positive for marijuana were under 25.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

  • dpskfromWA

    Shhhh – don’t tell the pot heads in Colorado or Washington. They’ll just argue until they’re blue in the face about how much better pot is vs. alcohol. Of course, they’re argument is more proof of the brain damage caused by smoking pot.
    Pot head retorts to follow…

  • smartacus

    and yet cocaine is still ILLEGAL. Almost as illegal as texting.


    Well, with that kind of research – or, at least the biased interpretation of it – we’d better ban water and food since that was probably found in their systems, as well.
    Granted, I’m exaggerating to prove a point, but my point still stands.
    Oh, and dpshtfromWA, alcohol IS far worse. Sorry you’re alcohol ridden brain cells can’t except that without attacking others. It seems obvious to me where you stand by your comment and it’s barely hidden bigotry.

  • dpskfromWA

    Well, I never said alcohol was better than anything else, I just pointed out the ridiculous argument that pot heads constantly repeat about how pot use is better than alcohol. Also, since I only lightly drink occasionally – and NEVER before driving, your insult is meaningless.
    Thanks for misrepresenting my point though, and thanks for the ridiculous statement regarding water and food as it proves my point that pot heads have obvious brain damage.

  • Bob

    here we go you can test pos for pot 10 days after the last timeyou used it. it said 12% of the crashes ????? not saying pot was not being used but until they can come up with a test that puts you using in the last say 8 hrs the finding are usless

  • Aldiggy2000 .

    this article is such BS. People who drive after smoking pot are actually better drivers. Paranoia is so powerful, they want to be extra cautious behind the wheel so they don’t get pulled over. It’s drunk individuals who are too messed up impaired that are way worse. Vision blurs, head feels swimmy, speech is slurred, balance is off .. pot doesn’t do any of that to someone behind the wheel. There also is no test a cop can give to tell if someone is high, currently. Only thing they can do is look at ones eyes. Nothing a little red-eye visine can’t fix. Since it stays in ones system for more than 30 days, a user could have smoked 29 days ago then get into a wreck from being careless. Tested that individual and low n behold… DIRTY! .. such BS

    This is just another anti-pot article to control the masses and to save Pharm/DEA from losing money

  • Aldiggy2000 .

    naa, you’re entitled to your own opinion.. no matter how weak or wrong that opinion may be. You are free to believe what you want to believe

  • Russell

    This article is BS. You can bet big Pharma has their hand in this one. I know more people who are taking so many pharmaceutical drugs and getting behind the wheel it’s pathetic. And no, it’s not teens, it’s middle aged, and the elderly who are so drugged out of their minds and driving without a conscious!

  • jon d.

    another smoke screen article to keep the uneducated masses in fear , a few exerts from that “study”

    Alcohol contributed to about the same percentage of traffic fatalities throughout the decade, about 40 percent, Li said.
    (weed equaled 12%)

    In an endnote to the study, the researchers pointed to several limitations with the research. One is that marijuana can be detected in the blood up to one week after use. And, therefore, the researchers said, “the prevalence of nonalcohol drugs reported in this study should be interpreted as an indicator of drug use, not necessarily a measurement of drug impairment.”

    i mean pot has became more sociably acceptable and more readily available so of course the test numbers are going to show the increase

  • dpskfromWA

    Opinion based on factual evidence.

  • Oh, really?

    Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

    Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.

    Heart: Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

    Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
    Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat

    High blood pressure

    Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

    Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

    Steatosis, or fatty liver
    Alcoholic hepatitis

    Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

    Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:


    Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not
    drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

    Even though marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and more tar than tobacco smoke and marijuana intoxication has been implicated as a risk factor for injuries, relatively little epidemiologic evidence has identified marijuana use as a risk factor for ill health.

    The factual evidence supports your opponents.

  • Jam

    People that are pro-pot can ignore (not a coincidence that the word is connected to
    ignorant) the facts if they want too, but realize it may be your own
    addiction that minimizes the negative impact of marijuana of our society in
    your mind. I think it is funny that pro-pot people think that you can put
    a product that has 483 different chemicals in it and it not have a negative effect (that’s naturally found in it by the way). However, the only thing an addict needs to continue their usage is a permission statement. So, good job with minimizing. Smoke it up! We’ll
    see what happens when you see children lives become negatively impacted by
    weed and they don’t achieve the full potential that you saw in them or
    hoped for them. But pot’s from the earth, God put it here for us to
    smoke, how can it be bad when it’s “natural”. Poison Ivy is all
    natural too. Why not roll it up and smoke it? Please stop with the
    tired arguments and make a decision based on all of the information, not just
    the stuff put out by high times and some medical report that links it to some
    positive medicinal use that is already covered by four other types of
    meds. Uneducated masses indeed.

  • Aldiggy2000 .

    delusions and misinterpretations are not factual evidence