Concerns About Driving Safety with Legalized Marijuana in Massachusetts
Recreational marijuana has been legalized in Massachusetts for two years, yet there are many concerns about driving under the influence of the substance. In fact, marijuana was the second-leading drug found in drivers involved in fatal accidents from 2014-2017.
People may not think driving under the influence of marijuana is as dangerous as drunk driving, yet it is. A driver’s coordination, reaction time and perception are all negatively affected under the influence of marijuana, significantly increasing the risks of an accident.
Governor Baker is working to improve driving safety and has revealed plans to utilize drug recognition experts to determine if a driver was impaired. However, there currently are no scientific tests for tell if marijuana is in a driver’s system, which is a major challenge to law enforcement.
THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, can stay in a person’s body for up to a month. Therefore, testing for the substance’s presence in the body is not the best way to determine if a driver was under the influence at the time of an accident.
Majority of Massachusetts Residents Purchasing from Dealers, Not Licensed Facilities
Although recreational marijuana is legal and sold at licensed stores, the black market for marijuana is booming. The majority of marijuana sales in the state at 75% are from dealers without a license.
Some reasons for this trend is that lines at the licensed facilities are long and products are likely sold at higher prices. However, the facilities test the substance to ensure it is not laced with anything. Officials warn purchasing from a dealer can be more dangerous as consumers do not know if the marijuana is laced with dangerous drugs.
Before Getting Behind the Wheel, Know the Risks
As mentioned in an earlier blog, driving under the influence of marijuana can increase the risks for a serious accident by up to 7 times. If a driver is smoking and drinking alcohol, the risks dramatically increase.
At a Glance
- Marijuana is the second-leading drug found in drivers in crashes.
- Drivers with THC in their systems are 2x as likely to be in a fatal crash than those who are not using drugs.
- Car crashes are up by approximately 6% in states that have legalized marijuana compared to those that have not.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, call the experienced Boston Car Accident Attorneys at Attorney Injury Group for help.
Call us today at 617-934-7000 for a FREE, confidential consultation. When you call our experienced Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers, we will investigate every detail of your accident at no cost to you. At Attorney Injury Group, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front and we don’t get paid until you do. Call today to learn how we may be able to help.
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