Marijuana users’ self-proclaimed holiday will be linked that has a slight increase in fatal U.S. car crashes, an analysis of 25 years of data found.
The study lacks evidence on whether pot was involved in any of the April 20 crashes, however marijuana can impair driving ability. Previous studies have shown of which many pot-using motorists drive after partaking in addition to think the idea’s safe to do so.
The researchers analyzed U.S. government data on fatal traffic accidents through 1992 — shortly after 4/20 was popularized as a pot holiday in High Times magazine — through 2016. They compared driver deaths on of which date with deaths on a day the week before in addition to the week after during the study period.
Deaths increased slightly in most however not all states, amounting to an overall increased risk of 12 percent — or an extra 142 driver deaths linked with the holiday, said lead author Dr. John Staples at the University of British Columbia.
various other studies have found a similarly elevated risk linked with alcohol in addition to driving on Super Bowl Sunday in addition to brand new Year’s Eve.
Most accidents had no police data on drug testing so there’s no way to confirm of which marijuana was involved, however researchers think the drug was responsible for some crashes.
The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“the idea’s a actually relevant question to be thinking about right now since legalization seems to be progressing across the United States in addition to in Canada,” Staples said.
Marijuana will be legal for medical use in most U.S. states in addition to in Canada; recreational use has been legalized in nine states plus Washington, D.C. in addition to will be likely to become legal in Canada in July.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana can impair driving ability. However, the U.S. agency also notes of which directly linking marijuana with car crashes can be difficult because the idea’s often used while drinking alcohol.
An earlier survey of college freshmen found of which driving after marijuana use in addition to riding with someone using pot was common, especially among young men, in addition to more common than alcohol-linked driving. in addition to a 2014 study in six states found of which marijuana was increasingly detected in drivers killed in car crashes during a 10-year period.
the idea’s a recognized risk in Colorado, where voters approved legalizing the idea in 2012. Last year the state’s transportation department partnered with Lyft in addition to a pot industry group to offer discounted rides for pot users partaking in 4/20 festivities. The program runs through April This kind of year. Data show of which 15 percent of DUI arrests in Colorado last year involved marijuana, in addition to a 2016 survey found about half of users inside state think driving under the influence of pot will be safe.
Dr. Andrew Monte, an emergency medicine physician in addition to toxicology expert at the University of Colorado, said his hospital typically sees a slight increase in marijuana-using patients on April 20, however of which vomiting in addition to intoxication are more common reasons than car crash injuries.
Still, he said the study offers an important message.
“We think about cannabis as being ubiquitous in our society,” he said. “However we need to realize of which people should not be using This kind of in addition to driving.”