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The rights of people on the road outweighs the privilege of smoking weed. Ultimately, If a person has THC in their system, they don’t get to drive. We don’t want them on the road endangering other drivers and families. Simple.
While many factors contribute to pedestrian fatalities, it turns out that states that legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use saw a 16.4 percent surge in such deaths in the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016, while nonlegal states saw a drop of 5.8 percent in pedestrian fatalities over the same time.
Chad Britton (16) was standing next to a parked car when he was hit in 2014. He died from his injuries. The district attorney’s office said the driver, Brandon Cullip, who was 17-years-old at the time, had been smoking marijuana and had been warned by friends in his car that he was too high to drive when he hit Britton.
Since recreational marijuana was legalised in Colorado, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151%, more than doubling from 55 in 2013 to 138 people killed in 2017.
According to AAA, Washington State experienced a doubling in drugged-driving fatalities in the years following legalisation.
Man who smoked ‘half bowl’ of marijuana daily gets prison for fatal crash
Michigan Live 26 Oct 2018
A man who admitted to smoking “half a bowl” of marijuana daily and causing a fatal crash has been sentenced to prison. Willett caused a rear-end crash that killed 66-year-old Wilma Jean Debruin, the driver of another vehicle. In court the judge asked Willett about his history with marijuana. Willett conceded that he started smoking marijuana when he was 15 or 16, then started using it at least once a month when he was 17. More recently, in the year before the fatal crash, he was smoking “half a bowl” (smoking pipe) each day.
Corinne Gasper’s 22-year-old daughter, Jennifer Hrobuchaka, was killed by a drugged driver in July 2012. “She was driving into work when she was hit by a man high on marijuana, racing through an intersection at 82 miles per hour into her passenger side,” Gasper said.
Less than one year ago I received a parent’s worst nightmare at my front door: a Police Officer informing me Henry had been in a horrific car crash. He died a 16-year-old junior at Ludington High School, full of potential. No father should ever have to bury his son. The cause? Recreational marijuana.
It was the evening of October 6, 2017 (homecoming night!). Henry was at the home of a 19-year-old young man, “dabbing”, which is the use of an inhaler to breathe marijuana into your system, making it extremely potent. This 19-year-old took videos of my son Henry both while he was dabbing and also after he passed out; he then let Henry get into his car to drive home. Apparently, Henry passed out again, only this time behind the wheel. Driving through a stop sign, he hit a semi-truck. He would die a few hours later. And my life has never been the same. You can imagine my agony as my state now faces a decision on the November ballot on whether or not to legalize the very drug that took my son.
In Washington State, 18.6% of all DUI cases in the state tested for drugs were positive for THC; from January through April, 2015, 33% were positive for THC. The number of fatally injured drivers positive for marijuana in the state more than doubled following marijuana legalisation, reaching 17% in 2014.
A report by the state of Colorado found that in 2016, about 72% of 4,000 drivers charged with driving under the influence tested positive for marijuana. The report, by the Division of Criminal Justice, also revealed that half of the drivers who tested positive were over the legal limit of THC in their blood. 53% admitted they smoked marijuana within two hours of getting behind the wheel.
As a result of this increased risk for drivers, the Colorado Department of Transportation has released numerous public service announcements on marijuana-impaired driving:
Ohio had a 6% increase in arrests for drug driving in 2017 compared to the previous year, and a 21% increase in crashes caused by drugged drivers on Ohio highways since 2013. State officials said about one-third of the drugged drivers arrested last year were high on marijuana and the numbers of all drugged drivers continue to climb.
In a study done in New Zealand by six Australian health researchers, it found that habitual users of marijuana have about 10 times the risk of car crash injury or death compared to infrequent or non-users. Those users who crashed had smoked marijuana within three hours of their accidents.
More than half the drivers taken to hospital after causing a crash were found to have drugs in their system, a 2012 study found. The Ministry of Transport study used blood samples taken from 453 drivers who caused crashes. Drugs were detected in the systems of 258 drivers, analysis by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) found.
An Automobile Association study found that people on drugs are causing more fatal crashes than those behind the wheel drunk. In 2017, 79 drivers involved in fatal crashes were found to be under the influence of drugs, compared to only 14 in 2013. Seventy drivers were found to be over the alcohol limit or refused to be tested.
A study in 2017 by the University of Waikato found that nearly half of Kiwi cannabis users don’t think twice about driving after smoking, and that while nearly three-quarters (73.6%) of drinkers had made a decision not to drive after drinking, only 57% of cannabis smokers had made the same call.
A man who crashed into and killed a Ngakuru father of four in 2017 admitted smoking a cannabis joint earlier that day. An Oamaru man who caused a five-car smash in 2016 that left five injured and one dead was a learner driver and had smoked cannabis before getting behind the wheel. And in 2017, a learner driver under the influence of cannabis who killed a car enthusiast, father and grandfather asked to be sent to jail. He had smoked cannabis before and while driving his friend from Oamaru to Dunedin.
In Australia, similar campaigns to highlight the problems with driving drugged have been launched.
In New South Wales last year, a stoned P-plater was caught in dash-cam footage driving at 200km/h moments before he ploughed into another car and left an innocent woman to die. Medical assessments found he had undiagnosed schizophrenia and was smoking three ‘cones’, also known as ‘bongs’, every day in the 12-months leading up to the crash.