Traffic Fatalities on a High After Cannabis Legislation
Monash University research examined the effect of recreational cannabis sales (RCS) on traffic fatalities in three US states where it was legalised—Colorado (legalised 2014), Washington (2014), and Oregon (2015), and nine neighbouring jurisdictions from 2009-2016.
The researchers looked at the number of additional deaths each month after legalisation, and found there was on average one additional traffic fatality per million residents, in comparison to states that had not changed cannabis laws. The increase was temporary, seeming to last for about a year following legalisation. The combined population of affected areas is 27 million people, suggesting an additional 170 deaths in the first six months after legalisation.