Is It Safe to Drive After Consuming Marijuana?
The popular trend of more and more states in the United States legalizing marijuana use has been a long-awaited action for many. Due to the increase in legalization though, there has also been an increase in the number of people getting behind the wheel while they are under the influence on the plant. Washington state is just one example of a region where rapidly rising numbers of drivers who are actively feeling the effects of marijuana use are out and about and driving. Traffic data collected from the five-year time span after marijuana was legalized for recreational use showed that the number of drivers who tested positive for THC shot up to 18%. This is an amount that is more than half what it was before the measure was passed.
It is commonly believed that being high while driving is perfectly safe. With legalization, more people are willing to drive after ingesting the plant because they don’t think there will be any repercussions. Like drinking, marijuana distorts judgment, slows down reaction time, and it makes it much more difficult to figure out where other objects and cars are in relation to your own. Simply because the way a person who is under the influence of marijuana appears differs from the way a drunk person appears doesn’t mean they have their wits about them. It certainly doesn’t’ mean that they have the sharp attention necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Are More Car Accidents Happening Due to the Legalization of Marijuana?
Currently, there is no hard data that can correlate the legalization with marijuana to an increase in crashes. Certainly, tests that can detect THC available to law enforcement makes confirming a person has THC in their system much easier. There are studies that show both sides of the coin, where legalization has lead to an increase in accidents and others where it didn’t.
Still, several public-health officials have urged governments where legalization has taken place to also pair the legislation with educational campaigns. Drivers need to know that when they consume marijuana and drive, they are taking a serious risk where they could be hurt or they can hurt others. In Arizona, recreational marijuana is not legal. However, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act ballot initiative which is aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana will be included on the general election ballot for voters to have their say in 2020. The Smart and Safe Arizona Act is also known as Proposition 207. Should Prop 207 pass, lawmakers have until April 5, 2021, to set forth regulations.
If Prop 207 passes, it is highly likely that Arizona will see a steep increase in the number of drivers on the road who are high. The Arizona car accident attorneys at ELG can help you with an Arizona personal injury claim if you are hit by a reckless and negligent driver. We will review your case and discuss your legal options. If the driver is proven to be high, this could have a significant impact on your case.
Work with an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
To ensure your legal rights are protected and you secure the highest amount of compensation after your Arizona motor vehicle accident, call ELG at (623) 877-3600 to schedule your free consultation.