A new study has discovered that the move to legalize cannabis in Canada did not translate into a rise in traffic injuries. The study’s findings were reported in the “Drug and Alcohol Dependence” journal.
The objective of the researchers was to investigate claims from prohibitionists who argue that enacting laws to legalize marijuana would make roads less safe. Canada approved laws to legalize marijuana, which took effect in October 2018.
For their study, the researchers conducted an analysis on emergency-department data gathered from the Alberta and Ontario provinces between April 2015 to December 2019. The researchers found no evidence supporting the claims, noting in their report that implementing the Cannabis Act across the country wasn’t linked to evidence of substantial post-legalization changes in visits to the emergency departments in the aforementioned provinces due to traffic injuries among young drivers in particular, as well as all drivers in general.
The researchers say that this was despite the fact that the momentum toward legalizing the recreational use of marijuana globally had raised concerns that these laws could lead to a significant increase in marijuana-impaired driving and, subsequently, traffic-related injuries.
In a press release, Russ Callaghan, the lead author of the study, stated that the research’s findings were a bit surprising, noting that the results could have been influenced by the enactment of stricter federal laws. He gave the example of Bill C-46, which imposed serious penalties on impaired driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana as well as combined alcohol and marijuana use.
In addition to this study, prior research exists that also challenged the idea that legalizing marijuana contributes to increased traffic risks.
In a separate 2019 report, a congressional research body in the United States stated that concerns expressed by legislators over marijuana legalization making roads more dangerous may not be based on facts. The researchers tasked with investigating this discovered that evidence about the ability of marijuana to impair driving was currently inconclusive.
Other studies have also found on different occasions that traffic fatalities don’t grow after states legalize cannabis. For instance, research that was recently reported in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” discovered that small CBD doses had no considerable impact on an individual’s driving.
However, the study did find that similar amounts of THC were linked to short-term impairment, which the researchers equated to the impairment observed in drivers with a below 1% blood alcohol concentration.
This research provides further proof that allowing cannabis companies such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) to operate is unlikely to worsen the road accident situation in the jurisdictions where marijuana is legal.
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