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Cannabis legalization linked to increase in fatal accidents

by Marjorie

Ontario: The findings of a brand new examine counsel that legalization of leisure hashish could also be related to a rise in deadly motorized vehicle collisions based mostly on knowledge from the USA.

The authors of the examine mentioned the implications for Canada in an evaluation printed in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal).

“Analyses of knowledge counsel that legalization of leisure hashish in United States jurisdictions could also be related to a small however vital improve in deadly motorized vehicle collisions and fatalities, which, if extrapolated to the Canadian context, might lead to as many as 308 further driving fatalities yearly,” says Ms. Sarah Windle, Woman Davis Institute/McGill College, Montreal, Quebec, with co-authors.

In Canada, the variety of folks reporting hashish consumption elevated from 14 per cent in 2018 (earlier than legalization) to 17% in 2019 (after legalization). Amongst hashish customers with a driver’s license, 13 per cent reported driving inside 2 hours of hashish consumption, with the variety of people who reported driving after latest hashish use growing from 573,000 to 622,000. An evaluation of 2012 knowledge estimated the price of cannabis-related collisions in Canada to be USD 1.1 billion yearly in societal and financial prices, with drivers aged 34 years and youthful chargeable for the majority of the prices.

Well being care suppliers can play a task in educating sufferers, and the authors counsel assets to assist.

“Well being care professionals have a chance to teach sufferers in regards to the safer use of hashish merchandise, together with advising towards hashish use and driving (particularly together with alcohol), with a steered wait time of no less than 6 hours earlier than driving,” the authors say.

Authorities regulation and public consciousness might additionally assist cut back the danger of accidents and deaths from driving after hashish use.

“Implementation of impaired driving rules and academic campaigns, together with federal THC driving limits and public consciousness of those limits, might contribute to the prevention of potential will increase in cannabis-impaired driving in Canada,” the authors conclude.

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