• A hand-rolled marijuana cigarette with design is being smoked by a cannabis user.

A hand-rolled marijuana cigarette with design is being smoked by a cannabis user. (Photo : YouTube/The Young Turks )

Marijuana legalization is one of the highly debated topics in most states in the United States. There are certain benefits being highlighted by supporters and enthusiasts of cannabis legalization, including the alleged reduction of road related accidents.

It has long been debated on whether other U.S. states should adopt the legalization of medical or even recreational marijuana use. One of the highly cited factors behind such push is the reported medical wonders that cannabis may give to medical patients, which modern medicine are having a hard time suppressing or solving. 

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According to an article by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, it revealed some relative positive impact of marijuana legalization. The report mentioned that states that legalized medical marijuana, on average, had experienced a reduced incident of traffic fatalities, and such findings of the research are published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Based on their research, there was an observed 11 percent decline of fatalities within 15 to 24 years old age bracket, while 12 percent decline was observed for individuals within the age of 25 to 44 years old. Thus suggesting the impact of medical marijuana laws mostly operate in those younger adults, who are frequently involved in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, according to Julian Santaella-Tenorio, a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.

However, despite the said findings and outcome of the research, there are still other things to examine to fully establish the relationship of marijuana legalization and use over reduced traffic fatalities. There are some experts who believed that driving under the influence of cannabis is a recipe for disaster.

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, the use of marijuana significantly affect coordination, judgment, and reaction time of an individual. Studies also revealed a direct relationship between blood Tetrahydrocannabinol (principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis) or THC concentration and impaired driving ability.

Under such circumstances, there are still a lot things to consider before experts could thoroughly associate traffic accidents decline over marijuana legalization. Guess we would just have to wait for further studies and advice on the said topic.