A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA) shows the negative impact of legalized marijuana for recreational purposes on car crash fatality rates. It also raises questions about how to keep intoxicated drivers off the road while not penalizing those who are not impaired by their marijuana use. This is because determining when a driver is impaired by marijuana use is much more challenging that with alcohol consumption where blood tests can more accurately test the blood alcohol content (BAC).
The state of Washington legalized marijuana use for recreational use in December 2012. The AAA study focused on its accident rates and found that:
To combat driving under the influence of marijuana, some states have enacted strict limits on the legal limit of TCH that can be in a person’s bloodstream based on a blood test. TCH is the main ingredient that causes users to become intoxicated. However, researchers in the study questioned the reliability of these tests for several reasons:
AAA recommends that states implement a more comprehensive approach to this problem. They believe it would be more effective to take the following steps:
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