New Study Says Legalizing Medical Marijuana Reduces Alcohol Consumption And Traffic Deaths
Joe | Nov 29, 2011 | Comments 6
Opponents of medical marijuana like to say that it makes the roads more dangerous as people get doped up and drive all over the place.
But a new study out of Colorado paints a different picture of medical marijuana and the roadways.
The press release below was sent out by Mason Tvert from the group SAFER.
“Groundbreaking” CU Denver research finds medical marijuana laws result in a nearly 5% reduction in beer sales and 9% drop in alcohol-related traffic deaths
DENVER — A study released today by the University of Colorado Denver shows that the legalization of medical marijuana significantly reduces alcohol consumption and, as a result, alcohol-related traffic deaths.
The study, hailed as “groundbreaking” by the University, is the first to examine the effect of legalizing medical marijuana on the prevalence of traffic fatalities. Researchers analyzed traffic fatalities nationwide, and in those states that have legalized medical marijuana they found that alcohol consumption went down among those 20 to 29 years old, resulting in fewer deaths on the road.
The study noted past research that suggests drivers under the influence of alcohol are far more reckless than drivers under the influence of marijuana. Whereas those using alcohol drive faster, take more risks, and underestimate their level of impairment, those using marijuana drive slower, avoid risks, and recognize when they are too impaired to drive.
“Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far safer than alcohol for the user and society,” said Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and coauthor of the book, Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009). “It should come as little surprise that when we allow adults to make the safer choice to use marijuana it results in less drinking and fewer alcohol-related problems.”
Tvert coordinated the successful ballot initiatives in Denver that made it the first city in the nation to remove all penalties for adult possession (2005), and designated possession as its lowest law enforcement priority (2007). He is currently one of two formal proponents of a 2012 statewide initiative campaign to make marijuana legal in Colorado and regulate it like alcohol.
“If allowing the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes reduces alcohol consumption and traffic deaths, making it legal for could reduce it dramatically,” Tvert said. “It’s time for our government to stop driving people to drink — and drink and drive — and start allowing them to make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana, if that is what they prefer.”
The more the effects of medical marijuana legalization are studied, the more people see not only doesn’t it harm society, it helps in many ways.
Don’t we want to be safer on the road? Don’t we want riding in a car to be a safer experience for our children?
Those who applaud alcohol and demonize medical marijuana, these are serious questions that they you need to answer.
And be sure to check out our Open Letter on Behalf of 30 Million Cannabis Users and join us in our fight!