Study Finds Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated with Fewer Traffic Fatalities

Legalizing medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities, new research has found.

The study was published in the just-released February, 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Using data from the 1985–2014 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (roughly 1.2 million accidents in total), researchers; “examined the association between MMLs [medical marijuana laws] and traffic fatalities in multilevel regression models while controlling for contemporaneous secular trends.”

They examined this association separately for each state enacting medical cannabis laws, and also “evaluated the association between marijuana dispensaries and traffic fatalities.”

Researchers found that; “On average, MML states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. Medical marijuana laws were associated with immediate reductions in traffic fatalities in those aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 years, and with additional yearly gradual reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years.”

They note that; “Dispensaries were also associated with traffic fatality reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years.”

The study concludes that; “Both MMLs and dispensaries were associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, especially among those aged 25 to 44 years. State-specific analysis showed heterogeneity of the MML–traffic fatalities association, suggesting moderation by other local factors. These findings could influence policy decisions on the enactment or repealing of MMLs and how they are implemented.”

Click here for the full text and abstract of this study.

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