Few subjects spark more heated debate than legalization of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational use.
Proponents argue that it’s no more dangerous than alcohol, and the medical benefits outweigh any dangerous side effects.
A related issue for drivers and law enforcement professionals is the question of at what point is someone using cannabis impaired? It’s not as easy to determine, and there isn’t a Breathalyzer test — yet — that provides the same guidance as blood alcohol levels.
To put some science around the anecdotal evidence, the Washington, D.C.-based AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted research on the subject, focusing on fatal crashes among drivers in Washington state from 2012 to 2014. Released May 10, the foundation’s report, “Prevalence of Marijuana Involvement in Fatal Crashes: Washington, 2010–2014,” found that fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled after the state legalized the drug in December 2012.