Insurance Group Says Data Suggests Cannabis is Increasing Accident Rates

Preliminary research indicates that the legalization of recreational marijuana in 10 states has increased accident rates, the Insurance Information Institute said Wednesday.

The group cited an October 2018 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute that shows collision claim frequency was 12.5% higher in Colorado and 9.7% higher in Washington than in nearby states that did not legalize recreational use of marijuana. Oregon also had a 1% greater rate of collision claims than neighboring states.

“When a state legalizes marijuana, more people use the drug,” states the institute’s white paper, released Wednesday. “More people using marijuana is associated with more people driving with THC in their systems. The standard personal auto policy does not address driving under the influence of any drug, including alcohol and marijuana. However, auto insurance rates may be affected by the spread of marijuana legalization, particularly if such legalization is associated with an increase in impaired driving

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