Traffic Fatalities on a High after Cannabis Legalization

By Monash University

In states where recreational marijuana was legalized, deadly car crashes temporarily increased, according to a new study from Australia’s Monash University.

Researchers examined data from Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and nine nearby jurisdictions from 2009-2016.

The spike lasted about a year after the state changed their laws.

“The results suggest that legalizing the sale of cannabis for recreational use can lead to a temporary increase in traffic fatalities in legalizing states,” Monash University’s Dr. Tyler Lane said.

“This spills over into neighboring jurisdictions through cross-border sales, trafficking, or cannabis tourists driving back to their state of residence while impaired.”

Monash University. (2019). Traffic fatalities on a high after cannabis legalization. Science Daily. Retrieved from



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