On Tuesday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by a pro-pot author Radley Balko headlined, “Since Marijuana Legalization, Highway Fatalities in Colorado Are at Near-Historic Lows.” The piece leaves the reader with the impression s that legalizing marijuana may have something to do with traffic fatalities going down in Colorado. He does admit that the fatality figures “don’t suggest that pot had anything to do with” the lower numbers, but then says that if fatalities were going up, “supporters would be blaming it on legal marijuana.”
Let’s look at the relevant data, and let the reader draw his own conclusion. A published academic peer-reviewed study and another thorough study set to be released next Monday show:
- An increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Colorado since 2009
- An increase in marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Colorado compared to non-“medical marijuana” states since 2009
- Alcohol-related fatalities remained the same
Balko’s op-ed is just the latest attempt to convince the public that marijuana legalization is good public policy – despite the fact that the data points to the opposite conclusion.