New report says car crashes are up in states that have legalized marijuana

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says crashes are up by as much as 6 percent in states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon–these are all states that have already legalized recreational marijuana — and stats like that are something that worries law enforcement.

“Law enforcement today is already dealing with impaired drivers on the roadway weather it’s through marijuana, opioids, any type of illegal or illicit drug,” said Sgt. Wade Kadrmas. 

Sgt. Kadramas says he foresees that more impaired drivers will be on the road if marijuana is legalize, However, even if Measure 3 passes, driving while under the influence of marijuana, will still be illegal.

“Nothing is really going to change with how we’re going to conduct traffic stops –law enforcement is still going be aware,” said Kadrmas.

Nathalie Gomez reporting: Testing for marijuana impairment is a lot like testing for alcohol impairment officers will look for signs of red eyes, slowed reaction and odor. 

“We don’t have any device in the field that is going to be able to tell us what type of substance an individual is under,” said Kadrmas.

Demetre Evanoff is for the passage of Measure 3—he says the new report doesn’t tell the whole story, 

“You’re going to find anything on studies to prove what you want to believe,” said Evanoff.

He says the study doesn’t actually link marijuana as a factor in the crashes. It just claims, crashes in those states are on the rise and for Evanoff it’s important measure 3 passes … 

“It’s not just so that we can be stoners it’s so we can have the medicinal qualities of it,” said Evanoff. 

Researchers have also noted that the link between marijuana and car crashes is not as clear as the link between alcohol and car accidents. This is just one more piece of the decision voters must make in the November election.

We’d like to know what you think of the safety of North Dakota roads if Measure 3 passes.
Please join the conversation with us on our KX New’s Facebook page. 

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