Study: Legalizing medical cannabis appears to reduce drunk driving

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A recently published study indicates that there is a link between US states with medical cannabis programs and a decrease in car accidents.

These data are part of a study published in Health Economicswhich analyzed insurance information and trends from automobile companies in the United States from 2014 to 2019.

The study authors found that insurance premiums went down in states with medical cannabis programs because cars were involved in fewer road accidents.

According to the research, premiums decreased by approximately $22 per year after states activated their medical cannabis programs. The effect is also stronger in areas geographically close to a dispensary, which suggests that easier access to cannabis increases this effect even more.

In addition, a significant drop in premiums has been observed in regions where the blood alcohol level while driving was relatively high before the legalization of cannabis for medical use.

The researchers believe that this is due to a decrease in car accidents and drunk driving in these states, with drivers substituting alcohol for cannabis and mostly preferring to consume their medical cannabis at home, a de facto obligation in some States, places of social consumption do not exist.

“The legalization of medical cannabis has reduced auto insurance premiums by $1.5 billion in all states that have currently legalized it, with the potential to reduce premiums by an additional $900 million if the remaining states legitimize it. did,” write the study authors.

A previous study from 2017 already made the connection between the enactment of medical cannabis programs and the reduction of alcohol consumption.

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