States where cannabis has been legalized to treat specific medical conditions have a 11% lower rate of automobile-related deaths than those where medical cannabis is not legal, according to new research.
In a study conducted at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (Am J Publ Health Dec 20, 2016:e1-e7 [Epub ahead of print]), researchers sought to determine the relationship between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and traffic fatality rates, as well as between marijuana dispensaries and traffic fatalities. Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 1985 to 2014, the researchers found that, on average, states with MMLs had fewer traffic fatalities than those without.
According to the research, states that have active medical cannabis laws had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. Medical marijuana laws were associated with immediate reductions in traffic fatalities in those aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 years, and with additional yearly gradual reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years. States that regulate dispensaries also associated with traffic fatality reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years
“This finding suggests that the mechanisms by which medical marijuana laws reduce traffic fatalities mostly operate in those younger adults, a group also frequently involved in alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” said Julian Santaella-Tenorio, lead study author and doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University, in New York City, in a press release.
These findings could influence policy decisions on the enactment or repealing of MMLs and how they are implemented. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 20, 2016: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303577)
Photocredit:World Life Expectancy
NURSE OWNED AND OPERATED
OLIVE'S BRANCH does NOT distribute medicine
Copyright © Olive's Branch 2019