NHTSA study: No evidence marijuana leads to higher crash risk

No evidence marijuana leads to higher crash risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a 20-month survey of drivers in 2013 and 2014 found that while drinking dramatically raises the chance of a crash, there was no evidence that marijuana use is statistically significant in boosting wreck rates.

This is something we’ve known, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be too popular in some circles.

Here’s the study.

In fact, the NHTSA didn’t seem to be too happy about reporting their own study’s results. Check out the tortured language in their release (released on a Friday afternoon naturally):

A second survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted, assessed whether marijuana use by drivers is associated with greater risk of crashes. The survey found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. In particular, marijuana users are more likely to be young men – a group already at high risk.

This was the most precisely controlled study of its kind yet conducted, but it measured the risk associated with marijuana at the levels found among drivers in a large community. Other studies using driving simulators and test tracks have found that marijuana at sufficient dosage levels will affect driver risk.

“Drivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, and we know that marijuana impairs judgment, reaction times and awareness,” said Jeff Michael, NHTSA’s associate administrator for research and program development. “These findings highlight the importance of research to better understand how marijuana use affects drivers so states and communities can craft the best safety policies.”

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26 Responses to NHTSA study: No evidence marijuana leads to higher crash risk

  1. strayan says:

    Francis’ Law.

  2. divadab says:

    Thanks for the links – I posted them in our local paper, who published a shock horror more drugs in peoples’ systems article = prohibitionist propaganda – when will reason and logic prevail over these fact-free hysterical attitudes?

  3. Frank W. says:

    Truth is usually trumped by “…but some say…” when Some has the lawyers, guns and money.

  4. claygooding says:

    This makes the 4th or 5th time NHTSA has reported cannabis use doesn’t put other drivers at anymore risk than they face every day,,as prohibitionist like to claim and even if marijuana use doubled your chance of having an accident do does driving 5 MPH over the speed limit while alcohol increases risk by 7+ and texting by 11 times as likely to be involved in an accident,,to gain a perspective.

    We have lot more drivers out there driving 5 MPH over the speed limit than we do driving stoned and any punishment or fines should carry the same penalty for both.

  5. C.E. says:

    And the clock starts ticking until someone makes them publish an addendum pointing out that, in fact, if you look at it the right way, the study really proves that “drugged driving” is a major contributor to traffic fatalities.

  6. thelbert says:

    as i have stated before, i never drive without a having fresh cannabis in my bloodstream. unless of course, i don’t have any. so far, i have been able to avoid killing anyone. just another reason to ignore the edicts of the prohibitches

  7. thelbert says:

    if motor vehicles are so dangerous, why haven’t the prohibitches banned them. who cares about the jobs of the auto “pushers”? cars are addictive and dangerous.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I tried my best to torture reality until I could come up with a valid argument of why we don’t need motor vehicles…hey, humans got along without them for a lot of years…a lot. But I never could get past the time the guy with the ambulance drove me to the hospital at a very high rate of speed where a gang of Asian midgets in scrubs stopped my internal bleeding. But I can still make a great argument that private ownership of motor vehicles is not something that people need.

      Hey, if you’re going to argue that tanks and bazookas and atom bombs are needed how can you argue against a need for ambulances?

      Of course the point is that if you’re going to blame an inanimate object for the actions of an animated being the motor vehicle is at least equally to blame for impaired driving. Perhaps I’m missing something and someone can tell me how one would go out driving impaired without a motor vehicle?

  8. Ned says:

    An uncontrolled study has been running in various regions of Northern CA. since the 1970’s. Some of these rural areas, dotted with small towns and winding dirt roads, are places where there’s a significant portion of drivers with heavy daily cannabis consumption habits. Maybe even over half the drivers on the road at certain times. This has been the case for many years, and yet, and yet, these areas have seen no increase in accidents as compared similar areas without so many user drivers. Where is the Humbolt/Mendocino THC induced road carnage? If what they wish was true actually was true, it would absolutely have clearly manifested there. But no.

  9. DdC says:

    That is so true Ned. Problem is they get paid to keep the drug war going. Not reality or pesky facts and reason. Some of the worse drivers are inexperienced straight teens and sober seniors. In my truckin’ days I was picked up by a family who were all illiterate. They spent most of their gas money on the D.C. beltway going in a circle because they couldn’t read the sign to the PA. Turnpike exit. There was no impairment and most traffic signs are symbolic shapes, probably for that reason.

    In FL a co-worker told me if you can’t read the DMV clerk will read the questions to you. This is a state were you could buy a mixed drink at a liquor store drive thru window. Then we can consider bad weather and legal medications. Bad roads and broken cars. Road rage seems to be increasing as well as traffic jams. Odd how they always construct roads to be a little behind the traffic when they could add two new lanes instead of one. But traffic jams sell more gasoline.

    I’ve driven some of those back roads around Humboldt and in the Santa Cruz Mts with nothing to think of making headlines over stoned driving. But again, the ONDCP has no concerns over people being harmed or unsafe drivers. Just enough fluxom to keep it from legal and taking their gravy train. Scum of the Earth.

  10. Duncan20903 says:


    Oh well shucks, I wouldn’t have been so pissy yesterday if I had known that I would see this article. I sure hope that the fixit guy gets my crystal ball back into working order soon:

    US drug czar supports DC pot legalization drive
    District voted in November to legalize marijuana, but Congress has so far halted the effort
    February 7, 2015 by Wilson Dizard

    Michael Botticelli, the U.S. drug czar, said on Friday that he agrees Congress should not interfere with Washington D.C. voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults.

    “As a resident of the District, I might not agree about legalization, but I do agree with our own ability to spend our own money the way that we want to do that,” Botticelli, the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said during a meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

    I may not have known his name until very recently but I can guarantee I won’t ever forget it in the future.

    • jean valjean says:

      Expect the announcement of a “Third Way.”

      • Duncan20903 says:


        I’ll sure expect that before I’ll start looking for you to entertain the notion that you could possibly be wrong. What’s so difficult about the possibility that some evil people could be more evil than other evil people? Would you really make an argument that there’s any way in hell that John Walters would have ever in any circumstances, up to and including a unanimous vote in favor of I-71, argued that like it or not the voters of DC have spoken and should be respected?

        Arguing that John Walters and Michael Botticelli are equally evil only dilutes the definition of evil. It’s the equivalent of the prohibitionists trying to act as if cannabis is an addiction on the same level as nicotine or opioids. It’s just plain untrue on its face and only dilutes the definition of addiction to sometimes being a minor annoyance.

        With all due respect if you’re going to continue to embrace your characterization of Mr. Botticelli the only thing that’s left is for us to agree to disagree. This is the last time I’m going to address this issue with you.


        • jean valjean says:

          Duncan…. this argument seems be be going on entirely in your own head so I m relieved for your sake that it s over.

  11. Duncan20903 says:


    The most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is, “I do not know” ~~ Mr. Data (channeling Socrates) Vermont State Officials head to Colorado for Marijuana Study

    SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont state leaders depart on a trip to Colorado Sunday to learn more about legalizing marijuana.

    Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, and Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan will be joined by advocates for and against marijuana legalization in Vermont

    The group will study the effects of legal marijuana in Colorado.

    They’ll meet with law enforcement agencies, schools. and tour a marijuana growing facility

    When you figure out a way to get outsiders to not switch off their brains when this argument starts, please let me know.

    If we want to get down to brass tacks driving impairment caused by excessive drinking alcohol ingestion is not a universal problem that attaches to anything that gets you high. Perhaps barbiturates or benzodiazepines.

    When I was in high school the common “wisdom” was if you were drunk and pulled over by a cop you should treat him nicely because then he might follow you home to make sure that you got there safely instead of arresting you. One of the more peculiar things that I’ve run into is that the thought that someone following a drunk driver could do anything but watch helplessly while the drunk wrapped his car around a telephone pole. It’s an even better laugh when the following driver is also drunk.

    But regardless, those were the prevailing attitudes in the 1970s. People (in general) just didn’t consider drunk driving to be a significant risk

  12. Servetus says:

    Robert Strauss, age 50, an American cancer patient living in Augsburg, Germany, was denied his stash of medical marijuana by the police due to a marijuana plant he was growing to cut his €1000 per month cost of consuming the drug. Growing marijuana for any purpose is currently illegal in Germany. Mr. Strauss was forced to return to his original pharmaceutical medications, which his doctor says killed him:

    21 Jan 2015 — The seizure of his pot supply – in total five grammes – just enough for a little more than two days to treat his chronic pain, put him back on the medication. German health insurance does not pay for medically prescribed marijuana […]

    The doctor said that the medications Strauss was on made him so sleepy, that he stumbled, leaving him with several sprains and bruises.

    [Dr.] Grotenherman speculates that the injuries sustained in the fall were already too much for his ailing body, causing his organs to go into shock, leading to his death.

    Meanwhile, German Federal Drugs Commissioner Marlene Mortler said that seriously ill patients should have access to cannabis through their health insurance provider. Had that been the case, Mr. Strauss would not have needed to grow his own.

    • kaptinemo says:

      State-committed and sanctioned murder-by-bureaucracy. Just like Peter McWilliams, Jonathan Magbie, and who knows how many others.

      Max Weber warned us about the potential of his ‘iron cage’ of bureaucracy causing inestimable harm. And it’s proved it can, by taking lives for the sake of arbitrary, capricious, demonstrably bigoted ‘rules’.

  13. claygooding says:


    Jamaica Passes Landmark Marijuana Law On The 70th Birthday Of Bob Marley

    On Friday, the Jamaica Senate finally passed a new marijuana law that will change the social landscape of the small Caribbean nation forever.

    A historic legislation that makes the possession of two ounces, or less, of marijuana a non-arrestable, but ticketable, offence attracting a fixed monetary penalty was passed after a five hour debate in parliament.

    The new marijuana legislation will allow for a scheme of licences, permits, and other authorizations which enable the establishment of a lawful, regulated industry for marijuana for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes. “snop”


    Now comes the wait for it to be signed into law,,,somebody better send a big check,,,,any pool on which bureaucrat suddenly makes a trip to Jamaica???

    • B. Snow says:

      Fuck Joe Biden…

      Fortunately he’s busy making appearances to cover for a whole rash of B.S. that’s popped up = basically everywhere!

      And, he’s sure to have been notified by his potential/future pollsters about the Reality surrounding the issue…

      And how, ATM at least Hillary isn’t known to be officially far enough left for the general public…

      So that, in the event that shit happens &/or “someone else” has to run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary – other than Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren (Who has repeatedly said, she wants no part of that mess – Not right now, with the House being stocked *chock-full-o-crazy*)

      The public consensus is that *she might* -maybe- try to pull the same crap Bill did on this issue back in the day.

      And what’s most ridiculous is that any of these people really need a pollster to deliver them a (person-to-person style) “Reality to Potential Candidate Phone Call” – they’re not actually that ignorant, Most of them just like to maintain the option to selectively pretend to be so on TV occasionally… Biden *might be* truly that ‘outta touch’ IDK?

      Hence my presumption (assumption?) that somebody either has or certainly will let them knows the truth about Prohib-Idiocy being an issue that’s been all but *TOTALLY LOST* by the social conservatives.

      It appears that the SCOTUS is likely to deliver the official death certificate in the near future.

      NOTE: I know I’m quite behind on reading & replying to the recent posts here lately, So please forgive me if I’ve missed or not gotten to something yet… Ivm trying to catch up.

      I may just read thru skimming stuff for important details without replying, but I wonder if the new format on the front page might let semi-active topics/threads live a bit longer than they have before?

      The upside = Possibly leading to less repeating of thoughts already well stated?

  14. primus says:

    Whoever they send better take lots of zero’s between the first number and the decimal point. Were I the Prime Minister of Jamaica, I would tell said bureaucrat to add one or two.

  15. pfroehlich2004 says:

    Does anyone know of any states, other than California, which have defelonized drug possession? The governor of my home state (CT) has recently proposed defelonization and I plan to contact my State Rep. and Sen. to request their support for this measure.

    However, I would like to have some facts at my disposal and would prefer not to rely solely on the example of Portugal (cause, you know, Europe’s totally not the same as America).

  16. Mr_Alex says:

    I would like to let everyone know who posts on this thread, the following questions I have used has sent the anti cannabis groups scurrying for cover, I call it the Achilles heel questions:

    1. To whichever anti cannabis group, do you believe people who have a so-called addiction should be sent against their will to rehab which in the end could potentially wreck their emotions and wellbeing and cause psychological problems like what happened at Straight Inc?

    2. To which ever Anti Cannabis group, do you agree that people who are in rehab should be tortured, emotionally abused, humiliated and etc?

    3. To whichever Anti Cannabis group, do you believe for example people who endured Straight Inc or whatever where physical and mental and emotional abuse should be at the very least compensated and be given cannabis or etc to help them to go through their painful memories or trauma?

    I even got labelled as a troll for asking these questions by anti cannabis groups and people at Partnership for a Drug Free America and Project SAM

    • Crut says:

      I like asking the same exact question, but switch the substance, which elicits predictable responses. Prefer waiting to ask the second question until they’ve fallen into the trap.

      1. At what point does the use of alcohol become abuse and constitutes a problem that requires rehabilitation?

      2. At what point does the use of cannabis become abuse and constitutes a problem that requires rehabilitation?

  17. divadab says:

    Hey Pete – voting does not appear to be working.

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