The legalization of recreational cannabis may be associated with an increase in fatal car crashes based on data from the United States, the authors said. CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)..
“Analysis of data shows that legalization of recreational cannabis in US jurisdictions may be associated with fatal car accidents and a small but significant increase in fatalities, leading to the situation in Canada. Extrapolation can result in as many as 308 additional driving deaths each year, “said Sarawindle of the Lady Davis Institute / Magill University in Montreal, Canada, with co-authors.
In Canada, the number of people reporting cannabis consumption increased from 14% in 2018 (before legalization) to 17% in 2019 (after legalization). Of the cannabis users with a driver’s license, 13% reported driving within two hours of cannabis consumption, and the number of individuals who reported driving after recent cannabis use increased from 573,000 to 622,000. .. According to an analysis of 2012 data, the cost of cannabis-related conflicts in Canada is $ 1.1 billion annually in social and economic costs, with drivers under the age of 34 paying most of the cost. ..
Healthcare providers can play a role in educating patients, and authors suggest resources to help.
“Healthcare professionals have the opportunity to educate patients about the safer use of cannabis products, including advice on cannabis use and driving (especially in combination with alcohol), with at least 6 hours of waiting time before driving. We recommend it, “says the author.
Government regulation and public awareness can also help reduce the risk of driving injuries and deaths after using cannabis.
“Implementation of drunk driving regulations and education campaigns, including federal THC driving restrictions and public awareness of these restrictions, may help prevent a potential increase in cannabis-disabled driving in Canada.” The author concludes.
“DUI and Amusement Cannabis Legalization” was published on April 6, 2021.
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