Legalized Marijuana States Showing Uptick In Traffic Injuries

Just because it’s legal to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of any drug or alcohol is never a good idea, especially if you want to avoid an accident.

According to a story that appeared on the KCBS Radio website, in states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use showed a marked increase in the number of injuries and accidents.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) examined some 28 million hospital records both before and after the state of Colorado decided to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. What they found was that while users of cannabis did report getting relief from chronic pain, and a 5% drop in hospital admission for pain, there was a 10% increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents in the state.

Other adverse effects after the legalization of recreational marijuana were an increase in the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and overdoses. According to UCSF professor of medicine Gregory Marcus, who is also the study’s senior author, “It’s also possible that with increased access to cannabis people were more likely to consume other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, et cetera.”

In spite of the legalization of cannabis in nine states, the federal government still considers cannabis illegal for recreational use. Because California is one of the states that has legalized the use of cannabis, Dr. Marcus believes that it allows him and his team to observe the health effects of its use more closely and potentially in assist in determining other ways confront addiction to other drugs.

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