More on the life-saving results of medical marijuana laws

The excellent Maia Szalavitz in Time: Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths

A nicely-written and clear article on this study and it’s got a huge circulation.

States that legalize medical marijuana see fewer fatal car accidents, according to a new study, in part because people may be substituting marijuana smoking for drinking alcohol. […]

Studies have consistently found that while mixing either marijuana or alcohol with driving is unadvisable, driving high is much safer than driving drunk.

Bingo. That’s the key. We’ll never get far with the public by claiming that driving while high is better than driving while straight, but they’re much more likely to understand the clear truth that drunk driving is far more dangerous than stoned driving so that substitution is a positive effect.

It’s been suggested in comments here since the study clearly gets its life-saving benefits from young people switching to marijuana, that we, as drug policy reformers, should be less quick to claim that regulated legalization can control use by the young. And yet, as Maia shows, the study even covers that:

The authors also found that in states that legalized medical use, there was no increase in marijuana smoking by teenagers — a finding seen in other studies as well. But, in many cases, the laws were linked with an increase in marijuana smoking among adults in their 20s; this rise was accompanied by a reduction in alcohol use by college age youth, suggesting that they were smoking weed instead.

That’s positive all the way around.

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7 Responses to More on the life-saving results of medical marijuana laws

  1. claygooding says:

    That article is a good one and should give prohibs goose bumps,,just think,marijuana could reduce highway fatalities,,,my,my,my,

  2. Cliff says:

    All this time we were being told how cannabis users are a menace to society and how we need per se laws for DUID which have a 5 nanogram or less threshold. Oh and we need pre-employment drug testing too, because those stoners are getting high, HIGH I TELL YOU, and we can’t tell if they are or not. Damn stoners, getting all high and feeling good and being all safe and stuff, how dare they.

  3. Duncan20903 says:

    Made it onto Google Gnus. Clicked to get here from there, hope that helps the rankings a bit.

  4. Pingback: Does Medical Marijuana Really Reduce Alcohol Crash Fatalities? – Huffington Post | My Blog

  5. Duncan20903 says:

    Who the heck cares if those chemicals might have someday been found to be an effective medicine? I’ve got no affinity for synthetic cannabis but there’s no societal benefit in embracing proven failure as a basis for public policy. How does it promote anyone’s better interest to prevent scientists from working with them in order to promote the overall health of everyone? Is there really a Congressman stupid enough to believe that a law will actually stop this from being sold if there’s any real demand???

    House to vote on synthetic marijuana ban this week
    By Pete Kasperowicz – 12/05/11 10:39 AM ET

    The House this week is expected to pass legislation that bans synthetic drugs that can affect the brain in ways similar to the active ingredient in marijuana.

    The Synthetic Drug Control Act, H.R. 1254, was introduced in March by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in early November by voice vote.

    “The passage of H.R. 1254 in the Committee on the Judiciary represents another important step in efforts to ban the sale of new and dangerous synthetic drugs,” Dent said after committee passage.

    “The abuse of these drugs is a growing concern in communities across the country, as users are increasingly threatening public safety,” he said. “Despite ongoing reports of individuals reacting violently to synthetic substances, drugs like ‘bath salts’ and ‘plant food’ are still sold legally in many states. It is time for Congress to ban these destructive substances and put an end to their sale.”

  6. Pingback: Does Medical Marijuana Really Reduce Alcohol Crash Fatalities? – Huffington Post |

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