Every three days someone dies in a marijuana-related traffic death in Colorado. Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a non-profit agency dedicated to raising awareness about the harms of marijuana, is unveiling this important fact on billboards in the Phoenix area this week.
This alarming statistic is recorded in a recent report prepared by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA. The report highlights the dangers imposed by marijuana-impaired drivers on streets and highways. The report records that marijuana-related traffic deaths, when a driver tests positive for marijuana, more than doubled from 55 deaths in 2013 to 125 deaths in 2016 in Colorado. Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 66% in the four-year average (2013-2016) since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the four-year average (2009-2012) prior to legalization. During the same time period, all traffic deaths increased 16%.
The Rocky Mountain HIDTA obtained this data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting System and Colorado Department of Transportation.*
Additional disturbing data from Colorado highlights the terrible impact that legal marijuana has on youth.
• Youth past month marijuana use increased 12% in the three-year average (2013-2015) since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the three-year average prior to legalization (2010-2012).
• The latest 2014/2015 results show Colorado youth ranks #1 in the nation for past month marijuana use, up from #4 in 2011/2012 and #14 in 2005/2006.
• Colorado youth past month marijuana use for 2014/2015 was 55% higher than the national average compared to 39% higher in 2011/2012.