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Has Legalizing Pot Caused Car Crash Claims To Increase?

In January 2014, recreational pot sales and use became legal in Colorado. Many cheered the development. However, according to a new study by a leading insurance research group, the legalization of recreational marijuana may come with a serious downside.

A 2.7 Percent Increase In Car Accident Claims

As detailed in an article from the Star Tribune, the study shows an increase of 2.7 percent for car accident claims in the three states that have legalized recreational marijuana, in comparison with surrounding states. 

Insurance industry groups have been paying close attention to motor vehicle wreck statistics in recent years. This is due to the fact that in 2013 the number of wrecks began to increase after a decade-long period of decline. There is much speculation as to reasons for the increase. Some fault texting and driving. Some are concerned that making the sale and use of recreational marijuana legal has played a role as well.

However, the study has its detractors. One marijuana legalization advocate says the study raises many questions, and that it may be flawed in its comparison of states like Colorado with more rural surrounding states without dense population centers.

Even one insurance industry group leader says that there is no definitive proof that legalization of pot is responsible for the increase.

Drugged Driving Is Illegal

While recreational pot use may be legal, driving under its influence is not. Unfortunately, there will be those who break the law and cause car crashes. They should be held accountable, and victims must be aware that they can seek compensation.

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