There has been much debate in recent years over the legalization of marijuana. A few states and cities have chosen to allow public use of the drug or have decriminalized its possession. Even more have acknowledged its value in treating certain medical conditions. In fact, Reuters reports that medical marijuana first became legal in 1996 and that it has subsequently been legalized in 28 states.
Marijuana is known to affect a person’s ability to drive, similar to alcohol. It is surprising to learn, therefore, that a recent study found that the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents have actually decreased in areas where medical marijuana was legalized. The largest age group of registered users of medical marijuana is people between 25 and 44. The number of fatalities for that age group decreased by 12 percent. Overall, the number of fatalities across the nation decreased 11 percent over a 20-year period.
The cause for the reduction in traffic deaths is not known. Perhaps increased police involvement in areas where medical marijuana is legal played a part. Some also suggest that those who use the drug are more likely to stay home compared to alcohol users who enjoy social activities like going to bars.
According to WSB-TV, it is currently legal for people to possess cannabis oil in Georgia if they suffer from certain medical conditions. However, since the substance cannot be grown or sold in the state, patients have expressed frustration. A new piece of legislation has been introduced which would make cultivation and sales of marijuana legal for medical purposes. It remains to seen whether the bill will garner enough to support to pass.