Category Archives: Driving

California Traffic Fatalities are Climbing Due to Marijuana

Under Medical Marijuana, California Deaths from Stoned Driving  are Significant say Researchers

 The National Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports that in California, 252 persons were killed in 2015, and 1,332 have died over the past 5 years (2011–2015) in fatal crashes where the driver had marijuana (THC) in the driver’s blood system.

Marijuana was found in 21% of fatal crashes in CA in 2015, up from 18% in 2014. Both Colorado and Washington at 24%, who have had Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries open for the past two years, have a higher percentage of marijuana driving fatalities than CA.

 “Many say that approving Prop 64 and making marijuana widely available is no big deal. For me, it is a huge deal since my sister, a nurse driving to work, was killed by a marijuana driver.” says Phillip Drum, Pharm.D. author of the study. See full Marijuana Traffic Fatalities Study here.

 Further, 41% of the CA marijuana drivers were under the age of 25, hardly the age group expected to be using “medical marijuana”. Also of note, marijuana using youth had a higher incidence of speeding 39% compared to a speeding rate of 27% in all other fatal crashes..

Currently blood is tested for drugs in only 25% of all CA driving fatalities compared to more than 80% tested for alcohol. “Lack of blood testing of fatal crash drivers is masking the true level of marijuana involvement in fatalities. In San Francisco, only one of 50 fatal crash drivers were blood tested for drugs in 2015.”  Says Al Crancer, Co-author of the study .

Five Southern CA counties of Los Angeles (43 fatalities), Riverside (29), San Diego (19), San Bernardino (18) and Orange (15) lead the state in marijuana driving fatalities.

  There is no evidence that using marijuana is resulting in fewer opiate driving fatalities. The level of opiate driving fatalities has been constant at 6% over the past five years.

Age of CA Marijuana Drivers in Fatal Crashes, 2015 FARS Data
Driver Age # Drivers %
<21 36 15.9%
21-24 57 25.2%
Under 25 93 41.15%
25-34 75 33.2%
35-44 16 7.1%
45-54 20 8.8%
55-64 16 7.1%
65+ 6 2.7%
Total 226 100.0%

Colorado Marijuana Traffic Fatalities Skyrocket Since 2006

marijuana-traffic-fatalities-Colorado
Reported Colorado Traffic Fatality Statistics are Misleading

Real statistics of Colorado Marijuana Traffic Fatalities.

Watch this 3 minute video which effectively debunks the news headlines about impact of legalization on Colorado marijuana traffic fatalities.

It is important to note that Radley Balko is a libertarian leaning journalist, which may give his reporting on the issue a distinct bias. His news story “traffic fatalities in Colorado at historic lows” is featured in this video. As they say, you can lie with statistics, and it is always important to read beyond the headlines and seek other sources of news before you inform an opinion on a subject like marijuana legalization.

Here is our Crashes page, with links to more information about the impact of impaired driving due to marijuana.

Parents Opposed to Pot blog also has written some articles about this subject which you can find linked to from their Driving page.

Scrap Unscientific Laws On Marijuana And Driving, Says AAA

AAA brings marijuana driving to the mainstream media

This press release originally appeared on CALMca.org. The AAA has brought to light the issue of DUI of marijuana. CALM is an all volunteer Political Action Committee dedicated to defeating all efforts to legalize marijuana. With the AAA study it’s clear we must prevent full scale legalization at all costs. Continue reading Scrap Unscientific Laws On Marijuana And Driving, Says AAA

Legislature Fails to Enact Stoned Driving Laws

Public Safety at Risk without Protection Against Stoned Drivers

Once again, public safety has been forced into the back seat by those who profit from marijuana sales with the help of the California legislators they influence.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee sidelined a measure (AB 2740) by Assemblymen Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) that would have made it a crime for a person who has 5 nanograms/ml or more of THC, the psycho-active ingredient in pot, in their blood to drive a vehicle. The Senate Appropriations Committee also killed a measure (SB 1462) by Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) that would have allowed law enforcement officers to use oral swab tests to determine if more costly blood tests should be performed.

Legalizing pot is on the ballot in November, but the legislature is refusing to protect California citizens.  Five months after Colorado legalized and allowed commercial marijuana stores, a stoned driver critically injured Colorado High School teacher Keri Phillips Headley. She is now an avid opponent of marijuana legalization.  

In California, stoned drivers are already an urgent problem.  (For information on the crash of 5/27/16 pictured above that injured 7, read here.

“To say we don’t have enough information to determine impairment is ludicrous. Why do we continue to allow back door legalization of marijuana with so-called “medical marijuana” in this state without even setting a safe level of use or warning people not to drive under the influence?” asks Scott Chipman, co-chairman of Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana (CALM)

“Drugged driving and particularly marijuana-impaired driving are serious and growing problems in California,” Chipman explains.  “In my own community of San Diego, we have had 2 people killed and one permanently injured by marijuana- impaired drivers in just the last two months.”

“Nevada has had a per se limit of 2 nanograms since 1999 and their jails are NOT filled with marijuana drivers,” says Phillip Drum, Pharm. D. and whose sister was killed by a marijuana-impaired driver in Seattle, Washington in 2012. “According to national driving fatality records, there have been over 1551 marijuana driving deaths in California from 2010 – 2014. This is the profits of “BIG Marijuana” being more important than the lives of Californians from the damages this hallucinogen causes on the roadways on a daily basis across our nation.”

Carla Lowe, CALM founder said: “Shame on those legislators that allow themselves to be influenced, putting the interests of drug dealers and illicit drug users before the need for safe roads and travel in California! Drugged driving and the associated fatalities have skyrocketed in Washington and Colorado with 33% of DUIs testing positive for marijuana. Yet in California we don’t even get the appropriate blood tests performed to track the problem, let alone the proper public safety policies.”  (It should be noted that the threshhold for impairment in Washington and Colorado are both at 5 nanograms per millileter of blood.  If the limit were as low as Nevada, there would be fewer accidents.)

We call on all Californians to reject legalization of marijuana and demand policies that protect all of us from drug impaired drivers, drug dealers and users.