I wasn't surprised to see a report this week that correlated the incidence of vehicle accidents with the legalization of formerly illicit narcotics.
According to the HLDI [Highway Loss Data Institute], past researchers haven't been able to "definitively connect marijuana use with real-world crashes," and even a federal study failed to find such a link. "Studies on the effects of legalizing marijuana for medical use have also been inconclusive," said the HLDI.
Instead, the group focused on three states -- Colorado, where legal marijuana retail sales started in 2014, as well as Oregon and Washington, where sales began in 2015 -- and compared them to the collision claims in neighboring states such as Nevada and Utah, parts of which now allow only medical marijuana. It also factored in statistics regarding the three states where recreational use is now legal from before it became available to the general public.
Colorado saw the largest estimated increase in claim frequency -- 14 percent more than its bordering states, while Washington state was 6 percent greater and Oregon had a 4 percent increase. Allowing for the total control group, "the combined effect for the three states was a smaller, but still significant at 3 percent," said HLDI Vice President Matt Moore.
There's more at the link.
So much for those who claim that the use of such narcotics is a 'victimless crime', affecting no-one but the consumer of the drugs. Not so much. We all pay for this in higher insurance premiums, and some of us pay in terms of injuries, pain and suffering, too - if not death, either our own or that of a loved one, killed by a hopped-up driver.
I know some will claim that the situation is no different with legalized narcotics than it is with alcohol. Both cause the same problem. Nevertheless, why add to the existing problem by legalizing new ways to become intoxicated? That doesn't make much sense to me . . .