It is just about two months until the self-proclaimed holiday of marijuana users which has been called “420,” “Weed Day,” and many other names, but is it increasingly dangerous over other days? As the legalization of marijuana begins spreading out to more and more states, those who are in opposition will now have new ammunition in their fight. A study conducted with the last 25 years of data show that fatal car crashes rise considerably on April 20.
Despite this study, many supporters of marijuana use, and a few non-users, are speaking out with serious doubts.
The Independent states that fatal car crashes increased by as much as 12 percent on afternoons of the date of April 20 over the course of the last 25 years. The study was published by JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday and it showed that driver deaths on 4/20 increased when compared to a day of the week before and day of the week after from 1992 through 2016.
Dr. John Staples is the lead author at the University of British Columbia and it says this study is something people seriously need to think of now.
“It’s a really relevant question to be thinking about now since legalization seems to be progressing across the United States and in Canada.”
As expected, there are many who have spoken out against the study, especially since there was no proof that any of the fatal car accidents involved weed use.
“”The data in this paper does not identify whether any of the drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents on the day in question were either under the influence of marijuana or responsible for the accident,” ” https://t.co/wBVnICkCz8
— Higher Ground (@highergtv) February 12, 2018
Previous studies have shown that motorists who are driving after using pot will still think it is safe to drive. In the instance of this particular test, there has been no proof of marijuana use in those involved in any of the fatal car crashes which were elevated by an extra 142 on April 20. Here are some facts from the study:
- 1.3 million people
- 882,483 car crashes from 1992 through 2016
- 978,328 fatalities
- 1,369 drivers involved in fatal crashes on April 20
- 2,453 drivers involved in fatal crashes on previous and after week control days
Similar studies to the “420” test have been done with alcohol consumption on Super Bowl Sunday as well as New Year’s Eve.
There has been research done which shows that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, does decrease reaction times in people. This not only makes driving speed more erratic but their lane positioning as well.
JAMA went on to say that “driving after cannabis consumption is surprisingly common” despite evidence of decreased reaction times. Many have taken to Twitter to point out their objections and a lot of the obvious issues.
There was no drug testing; the researchers “think” that #marijuana was involved in these accidents. No one advocates using #cannabis before driving, but this study, like so many of these targeted anti-marijuana studies, seems more like politics than science. https://t.co/t0S8x8iGkk
— peter grinspoon (@Peter_Grinspoon) February 12, 2018
Most accidents had no police data on drug testing so there’s no way to confirm that marijuana was involved, but researchers THINK the drug was responsible for some crashes. Key work ” THINK” which means I will ignore this https://t.co/n8VkmlYjOc
— TNT (@TeraThomas) February 12, 2018
Any stats on marijuana causing accidents that doesn’t separate out drivers who were also drunk from those who were only on pot are completely useless.
— Rick Orner (@Chimpinalls) February 12, 2018
This study showing increased fatal car crashes immediately around or on 420 aka Weed Day, the marijuana holiday, are convincing in some ways, but only if all of the research isn’t read. The facts do not lie that a certain day of the year such as April 20 does show an increase in fatal accidents, but there was never any proof that pot-use was involved.