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Dope Saves Lives

That’s right. A new study shows that states that have legalized medical marijuana averaged a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities. Probably because they also saw a 5% decrease in beer sales. The study analyzed 13 states that have passed laws allowing marijuana for medical use.

I’ve never understood why of all drugs, marijuana was banned for medical use, when opiates like morphine (and worse) are routinely prescribed by doctors.



  1. Jeff wrote:

    If cigarettes were not already legal, they would never be approved for recreational use. They are worse for you than just about any other drug. Yet they are legal because smoking tobacco has been around in advanced civilization for hundreds if not thousands of years. Not to mention the fact that the tobacco industry is a huge money-maker, employees who knows how many people, and has successfully lobbied in Washington to protect itself.

    Marijuana, on the other hand, has the stigma of being labeled a “hallucinogen”, is considered the drug of hippies and crazy people throughout history, and has been smeared through media as a dangerous substance. Imagine how much money could be made from taxing marijuana, how many jobs would be created if it could be farmed like any other crop, and how much time and money would be saved by no longer have to prosecute people for possession. It’s a win-win-win.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink
  2. Don in Waco wrote:

    Legalization of Cannabis does create a unique problem. While ethanol is relatively easy to make at home and small amounts are legal to make for personal consumption, it does require some specialized expertise and equipment. Tobacco also requires specific growing conditions and processing. Cannabis literally grows like a weed. To successfully tax it there would have to be some regulation for growing it. If you can grow bermuda grass you can easily grow pot. Seeds, dirt, and whatever amount of water, pretty much wherever you live and you’ll have a crop. And yes, if not against the law, it would definitely be part of my landscape.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  3. Dayton wrote:

    According to fatal crashes per vehicle mile dropped annually from 2005 to 2009, and dramatically – about 10% – in both 2008 and 2009. Chances are, states that haven’t legalized medical MJ are seeing traffic fatalities drop at rates comparable to the medical-MJ states.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
  4. BTN wrote:

    Dayton, I guess the guys at the “Institute for the Study of Labor” skipped the chapter on “control groups.”

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Until we read the actual report, we should not assume that the 9% decrease in traffic fatalities is not compared to states that did not legalize medical marijuana. That would just be too stupid a mistake.

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink
  6. GreatWhiteNorth wrote:

    Not to be a downer but having returned from surgery in early December I can say that morphine (or the synthetic hydromorphone) handles pain much more effectively than cannabis. Not to say there’s no value in cannabis. Having said that, I would definitely not want to drive while on morphine. I would prefer not to drive on cannabis either (would rather relax if you know what I mean), while a few beers would probably make me want to go for a drive, or make e believe I was fully capable of driving.

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  7. Don wrote:

    I read the report several weeks ago and agree with IK – read it to understand what apples are being compared with what oranges.

    GWN – the up side to cannabis is that is isn’t addictive at the level that morphine is and it has fewer of the side effects. You’re comment on not driving when stoned ’cause you’d rather relax is one of the thoughts explored in the study. Nice call.

    Friday, January 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink