States With Legalized Marijuana Have Lesser Impaired Driving, Reveals Study

A new study has revealed that when people drive after consuming marijuana, the states, which have endorsed legalization are witnessing lesser incidents of rash behavior, in comparison to states that are still continuing with the process of criminalization.

The study of self-reported driving under the influence of cannabis or DUIC revealed that people in states, which have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use are less likely to drive within three hours of consuming marijuana in comparison to people in states where it is still illegal.

According to researchers, while there seems to be a difference regarding medical cannabis patients who report frequent use and whose behavior was not very different from frequent users in states that have not legalized marijuana, the major conclusion of the study is that states with prohibition are more likely to see impaired driving.

Commenting on the findings, the researchers said, "The risk of self-reported DUIC was significantly lower in recreational and medical states than in neither states. Current cannabis users in recreational and medical only cannabis states were significantly less likely to report driving within three hours of getting high in the past 30 days, compared to current users living in states without legal cannabis."

The study further stated that "One potential explanation for lower prevalence of DUIC in legal states is perceived safety of cannabis use, which is associated with DUIC and varies by legalization. In legal states, cannabis users may receive more information about the risks of cannabis use from sources like physicians who issue medical cannabis cards or dispensary staff than users living in neither states."

The researchers feel that another reason may also be the labeling requirements in legal states, which warn drivers against consuming marijuana before driving.
The study, which was published in April in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, comes to the conclusion that intoxicated cannabis prevention efforts are urgently needed in states without legalized cannabis.

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