Study finds 100% increase in marijuana related fatal crashes

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Posted: Aug 19, 2014 10:22 PM by Caroline McDougall
Updated: Aug 19, 2014 10:22 PM

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Topics: Marijuana, weed, pot, Colorado, study, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, HIDTA, fatalities

DENVER - A study found the number of people killed in marijuana-related accidents increased 100 percent over five years where the state legalized marijuana in various forms.

There were 78 fatalities where a driver, bike rider or pedestrian tested positive for marijuana. In 2007, the number was 39. The research was performed by Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking, a drug prohibition group.

"There's enough research that says driving under the influence of marijuana is going to affect your ability to drive a vehicle, and when that happens you're potentially a danger on the road," said Tom Gorman, the group's director.

Representatives for the marijuana industry are questioning the study claiming the data is not clear whether pot was the cause of the accidents.

"Testing positive for marijuana could mean you smoked marijuana three weeks ago. It does not mean you were impaired at the spot," said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group.

Another report states overall traffic fatalities decreased by 15 percent.

7News Denver, the ABC affiliate in the city, reported on the study.

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