Many states have relaxed marijuana laws during the last few years. As a result, recreational marijuana usage has significantly increased in many areas. Unfortunately, the use of this drug, like alcohol, doesn’t just occur at home or in a controlled setting. It can happen just before or while a person operates a motor vehicle as well.
Studies have had mixed results concerning whether an increase in recreational marijuana use results in more auto collisions. In Colorado, one study found an elevated rate of auto deaths due to motorists’ consumption of this drug, however. The numbers were unaffected in Washington state.
A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine article suggested that there’s been an increase of nearly 7,000 deaths annually in the last few years. The authors of that study argued that as many as two additional deaths per billion miles traveled could occur due to relaxed marijuana laws.
Part of the uncertainty of whether the increase in marijuana sales correlates to an elevated car accident rate is that marijuana can remain in a person’s system for several days. Thus, the detection of marijuana in a motorist’s body at the time of an accident does not necessarily mean they were impaired when the collision occurred.
The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 11 states. However, the sales tax and amount of marijuana a person can purchase varies by state. Drugs may also impact people differently for various periods.
Countless individuals are seriously injured or killed in drunk driving accidents every year. Researchers and government regulators are only at the beginning stages in understanding the impact that recreational drug use may play in causing accidents.
If you have been injured or involved in an auto accident due to someone impaired by the use of marijuana, then you may be entitled to monetary damages. A catastrophic injury and wrongful death attorney can help you recover damages for your losses by filing a lawsuit in your Michigan case.