Remember when marijuana legalization opponents made claims before Colorado and Washington legalized that there would be an epidemic of stoned drivers on the roads after legalization? And remember when they made it sound like there would be all kinds of carnage on public roadways as a result? Even after legalization in Colorado and Washington, opponents continued to make those claims, and they are currently making those claims in Oregon and Alaska where voters will see marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in November.
I’m curious if these same opponents know that fatalities on Colorado highways are at near-historic lows after legalization? That’s right, not only is there not an epidemic of stoned driver related issues on Colorado highways, but fatalities have actually gone down. This is no doubt an inconvenient fact that opponents will have a hard time spinning in their favor. Per the Washington Post:
As you can see, roadway fatalities this year are down from last year, and down from the 13-year average. Of the seven months so far this year, five months saw a lower fatality figure this year than last, two months saw a slightly higher figure this year, and in one month the two figures were equal.
There have been studies that have shown that traffic fatalities have also dropped in states that have legalized medical marijuana. There are multiple studies out there that show that marijuana consumers are very defensive drivers, and that they ‘stoned driver epidemic’ is nothing more than reefer madness propaganda. I’d imagine opponents will continue to use their scare tactics during the 2014 Election and beyond, but I’m hopeful that people will do their own research and realize that claims by opponents are unfounded.