Traffic crashes can happen in San Marcos and throughout Southern California for a wide variety of reasons, from distracted and aggressive driving to intoxicated or impaired driving. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) addressed collision rates following the legalization of marijuana in California and several other states. While the study revealed that the legalization of recreational marijuana in various states did lead to a “statistically significant increase in injury crash rates,” the beginning of marijuana sales in those states did not correspond with any additional increased risk of a collision. Accordingly, the study suggests that marijuana legalization may lead to an increase in traffic collisions at the outset, but further access to marijuana through retail sales does not result in any additional rise in accident rates.
Car Accident Data and Marijuana Legalization in California
Recreational marijuana has been legal in California since 2016 with the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). In the recent IIHS study, researchers looked at traffic accident rates in five states that legalized the recreational use of marijuana between 2012 and 2017, including Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, California, and Nevada. The researchers looked at car accident data in the immediate aftermath of the legalization of recreational marijuana in these states, followed by accident data in the period immediately following the start of recreational marijuana retail sales. Those dates are as follows for the states involved in the study: