There's been a spike in crashes since the legalization of marijuana in Washington State and experts say that could lead to higher insurance premiums for drivers.
The study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.
Basically, it impacted drivers differently, but the takeaway was predictable: The more marijuana they smoked, the worse their driving became. Neighbouring states with similar fluctuations in claims were used for comparison. In Oregon, that number is 4.5 percent, and in Colorado there's been a 14 percent increase. This is HLDI's first report on how marijuana legalization since 2014 has affected crashes reported to insurers.
"The combined effect for the three states was smaller but still significant at 3 percent", Mr. Moore said.
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"The big take away is that legalizing recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, Washington and OR has not been good for highway safety", said Matt Moore with the Highway Loss Data Institute. "The single-state analyses show how the effect differs by state".
The numbers vary by state, but in Washington, there's been a six percent increase compared to other western states.
Five other states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, while 21 states allow comprehensive medical marijuana use, even though pot is still regarded by the federal government as an illegal controlled substance.
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