Top

blog

Stories

 

Marijuana Legalization Not Causing More Highway Fatalities, Report Reveals

emily.strock.accident.scene.cbs4.565x300.jpg
A CBS4 image of a crash near Colfax and Speer in July.
Crashes involving alleged stoned driving continue to get a great deal of attention following this year's start of legal recreational marijuana sales. Note the story of Emily Strock, who reportedly admitted to consuming one bowl of pot and drinking one beer prior to a grisly Colfax and Speer crash but has only been charged with driving under the influence of drugs. The accusation came down before blood test results were final.

But have legal pot sales led to more Colorado highway deaths thus far in 2014? One report says "no" -- and that cheers a local marijuana business representative.

See also: Emily Strock allegedly drank one beer, smoked bowl of pot before gruesome Colfax-Speer crash

The Washington Post's Radley Balko has kept a close eye on issues related to marijuana and impaired driving in Colorado, making his biggest splash with a report about Keith Kilbey, who became something of a stoned driving poster boy after smacking into two police vehicles in January. But as Balko pointed out, Kilbey was extremely drunk in addition to being over the legal level for THC.

keith.kilbey.mug.shot.565x300.jpg
Keith Kilbey.
Balko's latest piece on Colorado and pot maintains that highway fatalities here have been near historic lows in the seven months following the January 1 recreational pot sales launch.

To illustrate this point, Balko created a pair of graphics. The first compares the highest, lowest and average highway fatality figures in the state since 2002 with January-through-July numbers for 2013 and 2014. As you can see, the 2014 line is lower than the highest and average figures for the past thirteen years, and only slightly above the lowest marks recorded over that span. Moreover, the 2014 fatalities were equal to or lower than those from the previous year during the majority of months.

colorado.traffic.fatalities.by.month.graphic.jpg
Courtesy of the Washington Post
A second graphic showing total fatalities confirms that fewer people have died on Colorado highways from January through July in 2014 than did so over that span in 2013 -- and again, the figures are below the high and average sums and close to historic lows since 2002.

Thumbnail image for colorado.traffic.fatalities.through.july.graphic.jpg
Courtesy of the Washington Post
There's no definitive proof that pot legalization has led to the lower fatality figures, Balko admits. But he believes the digits are "far more supportive of that than of the claims that stoned drivers are menacing Colorado's roadways."

Mike Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, feels likewise. In a statement provided to Westword, he contends that "Colorado's low traffic fatality numbers are yet another sign that Colorado's marijuana laws are working.

"While positive news, we hope that the marijuana community will remain vigilant in promoting responsible cannabis use," he adds. "The eyes of the world are upon us, and we must continue exceeding their expectations."

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
58 comments
Max Padilla
Max Padilla

Alcohol and marijuana are not the problem.. People are!

Ed Haas
Ed Haas

Marijuana is easier to drive on than alcohol though easily. Alcohol affects everyone the same exact way every time (insofar as motor functions) while marijuana, especially those who smoke daily, can affect driving to a MUCH MUCH lesser degree.

Don Herman
Don Herman

They'll do it anyway, Stan. That fallacy never stops a Teabagger.

Pheenix Wonder
Pheenix Wonder

The people against marijuana legalization don't want to see any benefit. @stan newton, and if you don't think it's "correlated", that's your ignorance, go Google that.

A Chris Heismann
A Chris Heismann

The causes and factors of traffic fatalities are so numerous that pot use (legal or illegal) doesn't influence them in any statistically meaningful way. The only correlation legalization advocates should make is that fatalities are currently down, DESPITE legalization and CONTRARY to opponents claims that they would go up. The only reason it is important to make this statement is because at some point, fatalities may rise for whatever reason, and legalization opponents will latch on to that as "evidence" that legalization is bad. By pointing out there appears to be no link now, their argument will be shown to be weak and pathetic.

Frank Shiffer
Frank Shiffer

When are you getting rid of these idiots that write for you?

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

The two are unrelated. The numbers can fluctuate by as much as 50% year-to-year. Not everything is related to marijuana, contrary to what the Westward thinks.

Pheenix Wonder
Pheenix Wonder

I bet this is bothersome to all the alcoholics who were so against legalization.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

The strong majority of vehicular deaths are not a result of drunken or drugged driving...  "New York, on average, prosecutes 5% of vehicular accident death cases as criminal matters. Most cases are viewed as tragic accidents caused by either driver or pedestrian negligence. Cases prosecuted criminally usually involve charges of drunken or drugged driving."  ...I'd be interested in seeing the data for colorado as well...  How many of these fatalities were a result of drunken or drugged driving?


http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/opinion/callan-tony-stewart-kevin-ward-race-car-death/

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

.

News Flash: Robin Williams, chronic pot smoker, dead from suicide!


.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Bet a lot of folks agree with you, Ed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Facts aren't for conservatives.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Thoughtful post, A Chris. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

The original item is from the Washington Post. Thanks for posting, Steve.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Thanks for posting, Pheenix. Much appreciated.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@SpottedDick While Mr. Williams might have consumed water and other items as well, the data suggests alcohol and cocaine were Mr. Williams' demons:

Williams had spoken openly about his cocaine addiction, which plagued him during the '70s and '80s. Later, in 2006, he said he was an alcoholic and went to rehab to get his drinking under control. He had rebounded well enough to joke about his stint during his recent tour. "I went to rehab in wine country," he said, "to keep my options open." The following year, he told the AP that people were surprised he was no longer clean.

Correlation does not prove causation.

Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

If Jeff Bezos publishes it then it must be true.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@SpottedDick While I understand why a conclusion that differs from yours might cause Tourette's like symptoms in you, consider the truth in Wonder Woman's remark:  Alcohol creates Bi-polar like symptoms.  The research showing alcohol being a depressant is strong, unlike your post.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@GuestWho


Go Team USA! -- Go Capitalism!


A new study published July 25 reveals that major depression is on the rise around the world and is more likely to hit those living in high-income countries than poorer ones.


Based on the study, here are the percentages of people who either have experienced or will experience depression during their lifetimes: 

High-income:
• Japan: 6.6 percent 
• Germany: 9.9 percent 
• Italy: 9.9 percent 
• Israel: 10.2 percent 
• Spain: 10.6 percent 
• Belgium: 14.1 percent 
• New Zealand: 17.8 percent 
• Netherlands: 17.9 percent 
• United States: 19.2 percent 


Low- and middle-income:
• China: 6.5 percent 
• Mexico: 8 percent 
• India: 9 percent 
• South Africa: 9.8 percent 
• Lebanon: 10.9 percent 

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@muhutdafuga   "Correlation does not prove causation"


Go fuck your chocolate starfish with a spoon then prove the spoon correlating with your ass caused the rectal bleeding that follows!  Be sure to document your research so it can be peer reviewed by myself.  Video coverage preferred but digital pictures will suffice.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@muhutdafuga "Correlation does not prove causation"


Debunks the entire "medical" marijuana charade.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@GuestWho


Smoking cannabis increases risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability, study finds

Date:October 13, 2011
Source:Radboud University Nijmegen

Summary:Young people who are genetically vulnerable to depression should be extra careful about using cannabis: smoking cannabis leads to an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms, according to a new study carried out by researchers in the Netherlands. Two-thirds of the population have the gene variant that makes one sensitive to depression.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@SpottedDick   So earlier you quoted "The happiest of countries" and listed the Netherlands as #4 and now you are presenting data that the Netherlands is ranked #2 just behind the USA for "people who either have experienced or will experience depression during their lifetimes"?  Hilarious...


Lies, damned lies, and statistics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@SpottedDick Thank you for sharing your odd little fantasy, it is as odd as the "reasoning" you have used.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@SpottedDick <<< fake dick, likely the shiteater fistingblues

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@SpottedDick   So you agree that cannabis is similar to other psychoactive drugs/medicines?  Interesting...


Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mad-in-america/201106/now-antidepressant-induced-chronic-depression-has-name-tardive-dysphoria


"Psychiatric drugs perturb neurotransmitter pathways in the brain, and in response to that perturbation, the brain undergoes a series of compensatory adaptations in an effort to maintain normal functioning of those systems. In scientific terms, the brain is trying restore its “homeostatic equilibrium.” Fava has dubbed this compensatory response to a psychiatric drug “oppositional tolerance.”"

Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

@guesthow

Perhaps like Robin Williams the Dutch are happily depressed.

Don't Bogart that joint, my friend.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @SpottedDick


Wow!  rotteddick1, rotteddick2 and the mutt attempting to communicate with each other.  Your sluggish grunts are hilarious. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@fishingblues @muhutdafuga @SpottedDick Your inability to understand the adults must be what you describe as sluggish grunts.

Here is some libertarian/republican grunting:

-- Age 62 Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo of Denton County, Kentucky was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

-- Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins of Asbury Park, New Jersey plead guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.

-- Republican Mayor John Gosek of Oswego, New York was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@SpottedDick   


"... LIKE Alcohol!"  

...minus the toxicity, liver failure, etc etc.  



"MARIJUANA DEPENDENCY LINKED TO DEPRESSION, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS"

...again, the same studies exist for many psychoactive medicines taken at the recommendation of doctors by millions of americans every day.


"Patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac(fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) or Zoloft (sertraline) may experience side effects such as violent behavior, mania or aggression, which can all lead to suicide."

http://www.drugwatch.com/ssri/suicide/


"Recently, there has been some concern that the use of antidepressant medications themselves may induce suicidal behavior in youths. Following a thorough and comprehensive review of all the available published and unpublished controlled clinical trials of antidepressants in children and adolescents, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning  in October 2004 about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents treated with SSRI antidepressant medications. In 2006, an advisory committee to the FDA recommended that the agency extend the warning to include young adults up to age 25."


http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml


1 in 5 adult Americans took at least 1 psychiatric medication in 2010"


"Antidepressants were the most commonly used medications, with more than 20% of women receiving them. Antianxiolytics were also widely used by women, at almost twice the rate of men. The greatest use was in women aged 45 to 65 years, 11% of whom were taking an antianxiety medication in 2010."


"the number of children receiving atypical antipsychotics doubled from 2001 to 2010"


"Older women are most likely to use an antidepressant, with nearly 24% of those older than 64 years taking these medications. They also experienced a 40% increase in antidepressant use during the 10-year study period."


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/753789



SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@GuestWho Ain't America Great ??


How Depressed Is Your Country?

Picture the countries battling the highest rates of depression, and you probably think of those that are developing or poor.

Think again.

The U.S. tops the list, with 9.6% of the population experiencing bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or chronic minor depression over the course of a year. That’s compared with a .8% rate documented in Nigeria. The findings are part of a 2004 study of 14 countries by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Harvard Medical School

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@GuestWho 


The happiest of countries -- many of which are in Scandinavia according the latest World Happiness Report -- have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices and lower perceptions of corruption.


http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WorldHappinessReport2013_online.pdf


1. Denmark

2. Norway

3. Switzerland

4. Netherlands

5. Sweden

6. Canada

7. Finland

8. Austria

9. Iceland

10. Australia



muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@fishingblues @muhutdafuga @SpottedDick So sorry you don't understand AGAIN.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@SpottedDick   ...and where does a person of your disposition choose to reside?  America?

--------

“Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”


...sounds lovely...

really
really

@SpottedDick @GuestWho Actually dip shit Robbin Williams is quoted as saying ALCOHOL made him feel suicidal. Your knowledge is about 0, you really do not know a thing about cannabis. But you sure do chirp government lies well.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@really


Aren't you pot pimps always claiming that legalizing marijuana will replace alcohol?


And that marijuana cures depression?


Looks like you FAIL + FAIL again.


really
really

@SpottedDick @really Well donkey you asshole I am not a pot pimp for starters. Second my education is pharmacology. Third cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol that is a fact. It is our government spreading lies due to the backing of big pharm and alcohol industries. Cannabis has never shown to cause depression, but alcohol does. Our lovely gov Dickenbloober is big alcohol why do you think in the new add they put in the study is disputed because its a lie. You want to know the real facts look at Israel 30 years a head of the world. Unlike you donkey or spotted dick I am not some pussy that lies and hides behind a computer. I give facts period. Oh, studies from Israel show cannabis protects the brain not harm only the United States is claiming that crap or countries we pay to say it. 

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

@really


Marijuana and Depression

Marijuana users are shown to have higher levels of depression and depressive symptoms than those who do not use marijuana (Lev-Ran et al., 2013; Pacek et al., 2013).  


This risk may increase for users who use both marijuana and alcohol (Pacek et al., 2013).


There is also research to suggest that marijuana use in adolescence, particularly frequent or heavy use, is associated with the development of anxiety disorder in young adulthood (Degenhardt et al., 2013). 

Studies have also found that frequent cannabis use in teenagers predicts depression, as well as anxiety disorder, later in life as well, with daily users carrying the highest risk. Young women appear to be more likely to experience this effect (Patton et al., 2002). 

Use of marijuana in adolescence has also been correlated with the development of suicidal ideation, certain personality disorders, and interpersonal violence.  Younger age of initiation increases the risk of developing all of these mental health disorders later (Copeland  et al., 2013).


really
really

@SpottedDick @really So who were the people in gov or big pharm businesses that paid for these "studies". Name one death directly associated with cannabis? These studies are done to promote fear and are nothing but lies. Cannabis in the United States cannot be studied without government approval due to the class 1 scheduling. How come none of these so called studies were done prior to legalization in Colorado and Washington? Why is none of the legit studies done in Israel quoted in the US?  It is fear propaganda meant for fools like yourself spotted pee pee.Your type believe everything you read and live in fear. I actually went to CSU studied pharmacology and can tell you these above studies are nothing but bullshit. These so called studies are done by people worried about the money they will lose with legalization. If our society was so worried for our "children" alcohol would not be legal period. I'm done with you because you cannot teach stupid spotted pussy!!

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...