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Does Recreational Marijuana Use Influence Car Accidents in California?

A bill was approved by the California state legislature that intends to address the issue of driving under the influence of drugs. State Controller Betty Yee backed the bill after she was injured in a car accident caused by a driver impaired by marijuana. This bill would require the California Highway Patrol to report the number of drivers they pull over who are under the influence of marijuana.

How Will This New Bill Affect Marijuana-Related Car Accidents in California?

After the approval of Proposition 64, which legalized the growing, selling and possessing of marijuana for recreational use, state legislators need this new bill to determine the scope of the marijuana-driving issue. California is expected to have an increase in drugged driving due to this new legislation that passed in 2016.

Now is the time for the recreational marijuana industry to step up and help to revise their regulations, especially in regard to driving and using the drug. This new bill was introduced because it was found that state law enforcement does not characterize the difference between drug-influenced driving and drunk driving while reporting accident statistics. Because of this lack of data, the issue has delayed efforts for establishing a measurable state rule for drug-impaired driving.

Other states, like Washington and Colorado, have conducted their own marijuana-related studies in order to keep track of their state data. In Washington, blood tests are used to check if drivers have more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their bloodstream. In a recent Colorado study, it was found that marijuana-related traffic fatalities increased 48 percent since 2013, when the state legalized recreational use of the drug.

Solutions have been introduced by the State as to what the drug industry can do to inform people of the dangers of driving after using cannabis. Yee suggested a broader public education campaign led by industry experts since they are the people who could properly teach the public.

If you have been involved in a marijuana-related car accident in California, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you on what to do next. Contact Braid Pezzaglia at the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia today for a free consultation.