Navigation Links
Study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths
Date:11/29/2011

DENVER (Nov. 29, 2011) A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly nine percent drop in traffic deaths and a five percent reduction in beer sales.

"Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults," said Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver who co-authored the study with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

The researchers collected data from a variety of sources including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.

"We were astounded by how little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana," Rees said. "We looked into traffic fatalities because there is good data, and the data allow us to test whether alcohol was a factor."

Anderson noted that traffic deaths are significant from a policy standpoint.

"Traffic fatalities are an important outcome from a policy perspective because they represent the leading cause of death among Americans ages five to 34," he said.

The economists analyzed traffic fatalities nationwide, including the 13 states that legalized medical marijuana between 1990 and 2009. In those states, they found evidence that alcohol consumption by 20- through 29-year-olds went down, resulting in fewer deaths on the road.

The economists noted that simulator studies conducted by previous researchers suggest that drivers under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate how badly their skills are impaired. They drive faster and take more risks. In contrast, these studies show that drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to avoid risks. However, Rees and Anderson cautioned that legalization of medical marijuana may result in fewer traffic deaths because it's typically used in private, while alcohol is often consumed at bars and restaurants.

"I think this is a very timely study given all the medical marijuana laws being passed or under consideration," Anderson said. "These policies have not been research-based thus far and our research shows some of the social effects of these laws. Our results suggest a direct link between marijuana and alcohol consumption."

The study also examined marijuana use in three states that legalized medical marijuana in the mid-2000s, Montana, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Marijuana use by adults increased after legalization in Montana and Rhode Island, but not in Vermont. There was no evidence that marijuana use by minors increased.

Opponents of medical marijuana believe that legalization leads to increased use of marijuana by minors.

According to Rees and Anderson, the majority of registered medical marijuana patients in Arizona and Colorado are male. In Arizona, 75 percent of registered patients are male; in Colorado, 68 percent are male. Many are under the age of 40. For instance, 48 percent of registered patients in Montana are under 40.

"Although we make no policy recommendations, it certainly appears as though medical marijuana laws are making our highways safer," Rees said.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: No decline in running economy for older runners
2. New study supports mammography screening at 40
3. Kessler Foundation receives grant to study cognitive reserve in traumatic brain injury
4. Norwegian study finds opening bars longer increases violence
5. New study shows biopsy of recurrent breast cancer can alter treatment
6. Your abusive boss may not be good for your marriage, according to Baylor University study
7. Study debunks stereotype that men think about sex all day long
8. Second Cancer Often Same Type as the First, Study Finds
9. Low-Cal Diet Cuts Fat Around Heart in Obese People: Study
10. Kessler Foundation receives grants to study health disparities in people with disabilities
11. Fatty Liver Disease Doesnt Affect Survival, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... It’s that time of year when most people have forgotten all about their New ... (IAAM), Hall of Fame athlete and Garrison Forest School athletic director since 2005, knows ... of her first decisions when her IAAM two-year presidency began last July was to ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... proceeds from its Heart Rate Variability scans throughout the month to the American Heart ... to spot the first signs of heart disease and Health Quest’s INSiGHT Pulse Wave ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Snowfall4pod Digital, creators of the gContentManager & Distribution Network, today announced the ... and print-on-demand network. , AVALANCHE allows enterprise customers to license and create ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... The Journal of Pain Research ... playing field .” , As corresponding author Dr John F. Peppin says “Terminology matters, ... diagnose our chronic pain patients. ‘Chronic cancer pain’ and ‘chronic non-cancer pain’ are ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... METTLER TOLEDO has published a new guide ... understanding of the techniques they use so they can more easily spot potential ... and rework to create a leaner overall lab experience. , The new ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 10, 2016 The campaign aims ... 5 years reach the milestone of their 5 th ... ensure 2,50,532 children between the ages of 2 - 5 ... --> The campaign aims to ... reach the milestone of their 5 th birthday   ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ: PODD ) (Insulet ... technology with its OmniPod ® Insulin ... has been appointed to Insulet,s Board of Directors. With his ... of whom are independent. --> ... and finance experience and a deep knowledge of accounting, financial ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime ... Genomics to develop and promote comprehensive solutions for ... --> QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) ... develop and promote comprehensive solutions for next-generation sequencing ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: