Opponents of marijuana legalization have long pointed to the fact that more impaired drivers will be on the road as evidence that legalization will do more harm than good. Now, data provided by the Nevada Department of Public Safety seems to contradict that theory.
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Between July 2016 and May 2017, 310 people died in traffic accidents in Nevada. Now, compare that to the first 11 months of legal recreational marijuana between July 2017 and May 2018 where just 277 people died in car crashes in the state. Nevada Department of Public Safety has not provided data for June 2018.
The state of Nevada considers you to be impaired from marijuana if you have more than 2 nanograms of active THC in your system. Marijuana legalization opposition groups like Vote No On 2 Nevada have touted statistics that paint legalization in a dark light such as those in the tweet below.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Where recreational pot is legal:<br>✔️ Pot related traffic fatalities doubled<br>✔️ DUI arrests increased 163% <a href="https://t.co/ni5iCLxzPD">https://t.co/ni5iCLxzPD</a></p>— Vote No On 2 Nevada (@VoteNoOn2NV) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoteNoOn2NV/status/794383924206014464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The problem with the statistics presented in the tweet is that they don't take into account factors such as population increase. The German research firm <a href="ftp://repec.iza.org/RePEc/Discussionpaper/dp11392.pdf">IZA Institute of Labor Economics conducted a study</a> in Colorado that found population significantly increased following marijuana legalization. So with more people, more accidents are to be expected and does not necessarily mean that marijuana-related DUI fatalities actually increased but merely rose with the increasing population.
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