Study links le­gal­ized pot with in­crease in car crash claims

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - — Valerie Richard­son

DEN­VER | In­sur­ance claims for car crashes have jumped since recre­ational mar­i­juana was le­gal­ized in Colorado, Wash­ing­ton and Ore­gon, spurring con­cerns about traf­fic safety as more driv­ers take to the roads un­der the in­flu­ence.

A first-of-its-kind study re­leased Thurs­day by the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute for High­way Safety found that col­li­sion claim fre­quency was “about 3 per­cent higher than would have been ex­pected with­out le­gal­iza­tion.”

“More driv­ers ad­mit to us­ing mar­i­juana, and it is show­ing up more fre­quently among peo­ple in­volved in crashes,” said the anal­y­sis.

Colorado’s col­li­sion-claim fre­quency was 14 per­cent higher than that in nearby states af­ter the state un­veiled the na­tion’s first le­gal recre­ational mar­i­juana mar­ket in Jan­uary 2014.

Claim fre­quency was 6.2 per­cent higher in Ore­gon, where recre­ational pot sales be­gan in Oc­to­ber 2015, and 4.6 per­cent higher in Wash­ing­ton, which opened re­tail mar­i­juana shops in July 2014.

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