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Legalized marijuana and car accidents

Medical marijuana may eventually be legal in all 50 states, including Kentucky, but legislative efforts to legalize marijuana in Kentucky so far have not been successful. States where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes have seen a rise in the number of car accidents according to statistics from the National Safety Transportation Safety Board.

A 2017 study found that crashes involving fatalities have not increased overall since the legalization of recreational marijuana but suggests that there has been an overall increase in the number of car accidents in these states. The study found that there was a 6 percent increase in states that had legalized marijuana for recreational use compared to the crash rate in neighboring states.

Researchers found that drivers who had smoked marijuana had slower thinking and perceptual skills and tended to weave more in traffic. The researchers suggested that more study is needed to fully understand the correlation between THC content in the blood and driving impairment.

One study found that 6 out of 10 people in the U.S. support the legalization of marijuana. Driving under the influence whether the substance is marijuana, alcohol or another substance remains illegal in all 50 states.

A person who has been injured in a car accident by an impaired driver may benefit from speaking to an attorney with experience in personal injury. An attorney may be able to help clients gather information that is relevant to proving liability and damages. An accident report usually does not contain all the information needed to get a fair settlement from an insurance company for injuries.

It can be difficult to prove that a defendant was under the influence of marijuana since it is not testable with a roadside breath test like blood alcohol content is. An attorney may be able to gather other information such as witness statements, police reports, blood or urine tests from the state crime lab and other evidence to demonstrate that an at-fault driver was impaired.

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