DA seems to misstate danger of legalizing marijuana with the impact on traffic fatalities

Posted 17 February 2021 at 8:00 pm


District Attorney Joe Cardone is quoted in the Orleans Hub on Feb. 17, 2021, saying that Colorado legalized marijuana and marijuana-related traffic deaths went up by three times.

I was just wondering where Mr. Cardone pulled these numbers? The only source I can find for this claim comes from RMHIDTA (Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area). A federally funded law enforcement agency. RMHIDTA have been writing highly biased and persistently critical reports on the effects of cannabis legalization since 2013. The link to their study gets 404’d or “not found.”

Cannabis is detectable in the body for up to 30 days. RMHIDTA used this to skew their numbers. AAA officials also acknowledge these studies find only correlations, not causative links.

Here are a couple peer reviewed studies on marijuana related traffic deaths. Click here for one from the American Journal of Public Health. Their conclusions are three years after recreational marijuana legalization, changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.

The Society for the Study of Addiction issued this report (click here). Conclusions: The combination of step increases and trend reductions suggests that in the year following implementation of recreational cannabis sales, traffic fatalities temporarily increased by an average of one additional traffic fatality per million residents in both legalizing US states of Colorado, Washington and Oregon and in their neighboring jurisdictions.

The War on Drug is a War on Liberty.

Greg McCarthy