Studies offer conflicting conclusions on marijuana legalization’s role in car crashes, fatalities

Hours after one study connected legalized recreational marijuana to an increase in car crash claims, a second study claimed legalization played a less certain role in motor vehicle fatalities.

A study published Thursday afternoon in the American Journal of Public Health concluded that in the three years since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, motor vehicle crash fatality rates increased but were “not statistically different” as compared to those in eight comparable states that had not legalized cannabis.

Early Thursday morning, the Highway Loss Data Institute reported that legal marijuana states Colorado, Oregon and Washington had collision claims rates that were 2.7 percent higher than those rates in neighboring states in the three years since legal sales began.

Although the first-of-their-kind studies landed at differing — and critiqued — conclusions, researchers

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