According to a new study whose findings were released this month, there is no link between the legalization of marijuana and an increase in traffic deaths. This conclusion was arrived at by Andrew Young, a graduate student at Kansas State University after he analyzed traffic deaths data covering 23 years.
Young used two different statistical models to assess how the change in cannabis policy and laws in different states has impacted road safety.
The researcher concluded that the legalization of marijuana isn’t a significant predictor of fatalities on roads. This means that statistically, there is no proof that cannabis legalization leads to either an increase or decrease in the rate of traffic deaths. The data collected was analyzed based on every 100,000 miles traveled on the roads in the states studied.
For the states selected, the data of interest was taken from 5 years before cannabis was legalized either for medical or adult-use, and that data was compared to the data available on road fatalities in those same states after cannabis became legal. Controls (states where cannabis is illegal) were also included in the study. No trends emerged from the data analysis.
For example, the average number of traffic deaths in Arizona weren’t any different from the fatalities recorded in South Dakota and Wyoming where marijuana is illegal.
Similarly, traffic deaths started dropping in Washington just before medical marijuana was legalized, and they kept dropping long after legalization. Interestingly, traffic fatalities in Washington were lower than those in Virginia and Utah where cannabis remains prohibited.
Such concrete observations led the researcher to conclude that the recent rise in the rate of traffic deaths across the U.S. isn’t because marijuana has been legalized in more states in recent years.
The research findings also prove that policy makers who oppose cannabis legalization on the basis that traffic fatalities will increase have no justification to have such fears.
While this study hasn’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, some concerns have been raised about the small sample size of the states where cannabis is legal for recreational use. Can such a small number provide data that is representative of the whole country, they wonder.
Nonetheless, Young’s findings can be regarded as highly credible because they are no different from previous research that hasn’t found any link between marijuana legalization and spikes in road accident fatalities.
SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) and Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTCQB: SRUTF) (CSE: SPR) (FRA: 38G) are glad that independent scientific data is coming to light to dispel the myth that legalizing marijuana triggers a rise in traffic deaths.
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