The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently released data on drivers under the influence of marijuana.

The state entity says the percentage of drivers involved in deadly accidents who tested positive for THC has nearly doubled between 2014 and 2010.

The percentages are 84 percent (2014) versus 44 percent (2010). However, the number of drivers who tested positive for just marijuana was not that different – 89 in 2014 versus 81 in 2010.

This makes us wonder if THC testing changed over the years. It’s still evolving. The commission says authorities tested for both THC and marijuana residue, called, called carboxy.

The report says nearly half of the THC-positive drivers involved in deadly crashes last year exceeded the state’s .5 nanogram per milliliter of THC blood level. In other words, half would have been over the legal limit and thus officially driving under the influence.

But maybe some people are trading alcohol for cannabis. The commission’s report says:

The 75 THC-positive drivers in 2014 comprised the highest number of THC-positive drivers in any year during the five-year period studied. The 51 drivers who only had alcohol in their systems (and were over the per se limit) in 2014 were the lowest number of such drivers in the study period.

In any case, be wary of these reports: Legal sales of recreational pot didn’t start until mid-year in 2014, so trying to correlate this to such cannabis legalization would be a stretch, at least for now.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out:

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