Here’s a great way of looking at how facts get distorted by government and the media.
Remember, on Friday afternoon (putting it out with the trash), NHTSA released their report showing no evidence that marijuana use is statistically significant in increasing crashes.
The report showed that overall those who smoked marijuana were more likely to get in crashes, but only because of the overlap with certain higher-crash-likely demographics (like young males). When you accounted for those factors, it turned out that there was no significant difference in crashes between marijuana users and those who didn’t use.
That’s a powerfully strong outcome of a comprehensive study.
However, the NHTSA not only released that info on a Friday afternoon, but also in conjunction with a separate study that showed that there was a reduction of those getting behind the wheel with alcohol in their system, but an increase in those getting behind the wheel with marijuana or other drugs (other than alcohol) in their system. This is a completely unrelated study that has nothing to do with crashes.
By combining the two studies in one release, and using a lot of weasel-worded statements downplaying the clear results of the crash study, they hoped for this stunningly ridiculous kind of headline:
The war against drunk driving appears to be making progress, but more motorists are instead using marijuana or prescription drugs then getting behind the wheel, a government study shows.
Another study, also released Friday, showed that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in crashes. But it also points out that marijuana is smoked mostly by young men, the group with the highest propensity for accidents anyway. […]
“The rising prevalence of marijuana and other drugs is a challenge to everyone who is dedicated to saving lives and reducing crashes,” says NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.
Fortunately, there were a number of media sources who saw through this and realized that the buried story was the real story here.