"In states that passed legislation approving the recreational use of marijuana, the data showed that there was a strong indicator that marijuana was a factor in considering the rise of claims", Matt Moore, senior vice president of The Highway Loss Data Institute, said in a telephone interview.
Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study's findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.
The American Journal of Public Health study "Crash Fatality Rates After Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado", by Jayson D. Aydelotte (MD), Lawrence H. Brown (PhD), Kevin M. Luftman (MD), Alexandra L. Mardock (BA), Pedro G.R. Teixeira (MD), Ben Coopwood (MD) and Carlos V.R. Brown (MD), is much more straightforward.
The group used neighboring states - Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to name a few - as controls with the states that legalized pot and did before-and-after comparisons.
America's banks are really, really healthy
Overall, officials found that in the most severe scenario, companies would have suffered about US$383 billion in losses on loans. Almost nine years on, banking industry profits have been steadily rising and banks have been lending more freely.
No matter that a recent study suggests that legalized marijuana has not led to significant increases in risks to Colorado drivers, operating motor vehicles while high is a problem in this state that authorities must continue to address. The figures compare the accident claim figures between January of 2012 and October of 2016, and the numbers are hard to argue with.
Colorado had a 14 percent increase in "claim frequency" compared to bordering states. The results of that case-control study should be available by 2020. It's easier when alcohol is in play because the breathalyzer device exists, but there's nothing of the sort for marijuana, at least, not yet.
Although the first-of-their-kind studies landed at differing - and critiqued - conclusions, researchers and industry members alike did come to a consensus on one aspect: More research is needed.
Authors also reported no association between adult use marijuana legalization and the total number of non-fatal crashes.
Does the use of legal marijuana in the United States create higher rates of auto accidents? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has started a large case-control study in OR to see how legal cannabis affects the risk of injuries in collisions.
Mason Tvert, spokesman for advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project, said he needed to investigate both studies further, but said legalization's potential impact on automobile incidents is a complex issue with no simple answer.