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Does Marijuana Use Lead to Increased Highway Deaths?

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With the advent of some states legalizing Marijuana for recreational use and others allowing its use for medicinal purposes, it is easier than ever to obtain this drug. The use of marijuana impairs judgment, motor skills coordination and reaction time. It can decrease peripheral vision, slow decision making and lower multitasking skills; requiring a greater time to respond to emergency situations. All this raises concerns over the ability of marijuana impaired drivers on our nation's highways and the possible increase in injury and fatality accidents. While all fifty states consider it to be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, there is still no set rule as to the definition of marijuana related impairment. Some states have set a threshold of five parts per billion of THC, but most states have set no legal limit and may not even test for it after an accident. The Governors Highway Safety Association's executive director has said that while the jury is still out on whether marijuana impaired driving is a big or small problem on our nation's roads and highways, "anytime a driver has his ability impaired, it's a problem."

It is a matter of record that driving and alcohol increases your chance of an accident, but the results of studies involving marijuana use are not so convincing, showing that drivers under the influence tend to recognize their impairment and compensate by driving slower and more carefully and focusing more. This is directly the opposite of drivers under the influence of alcohol who tend to exhibit risky driving behavior in direct relation to the amount consumed.

If you have been in an accident and charged with driving under the influence because of marijuana, you need to contact a lawyer to handle your case. You may have been charged even though you were not at fault because of reddened eyes, or the smell of marijuana in the car. Your lawyer will know how to deal with these charges for you.

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