Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jul 1;140:137-44. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.04.008. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Trends in fatal motor vehicle crashes before and after marijuana commercialization in Colorado.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, United States. Electronic address: stacy.sautel@gmail.com.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, United States; Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, CO 80204, United States.

Erratum in

  • Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Sep 1;142:360.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Legal medical marijuana has been commercially available on a widespread basis in Colorado since mid-2009; however, there is a dearth of information about the impact of marijuana commercialization on impaired driving. This study examined if the proportions of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive and alcohol-impaired, respectively, have changed in Colorado before and after mid-2009 and then compared changes in Colorado with 34 non-medical marijuana states (NMMS).

METHODS:

Thirty-six 6-month intervals (1994-2011) from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System were used to examine temporal changes in the proportions of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were alcohol-impaired (≥0.08 g/dl) and marijuana-positive, respectively. The pre-commercial marijuana time period in Colorado was defined as 1994-June 2009 while July 2009-2011 represented the post-commercialization period.

RESULTS:

In Colorado, since mid-2009 when medical marijuana became commercially available and prevalent, the trend became positive in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive (change in trend, 2.16 (0.45), p<0.0001); in contrast, no significant changes were seen in NMMS. For both Colorado and NMMS, no significant changes were seen in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were alcohol-impaired.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prevention efforts and policy changes in Colorado are needed to address this concerning trend in marijuana-positive drivers. In addition, education on the risks of marijuana-positive driving needs to be implemented.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol-impaired driving; Drugged driving; Marijuana-positive driving; Medical marijuana; Traffic fatalities

PMID:
24831752
PMCID:
PMC4068732
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.04.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center