LARGE INCREASE IN WEED-RELATED TRAFFIC INJURIES SINCE LEGALIZATION

CCJ Gabriel
LARGE INCREASE IN WEED-RELATED TRAFFIC INJURIES SINCE LEGALIZATION

 

A study from The Ottawa Hospital has found a significant increase in cannabis-related traffic injuries in Ontario over the past 11 years.

The study examined cannabis involvement in emergency room visits for traffic injuries between 2010 and 2021, and the shifts in cannabis consumption and driving habits following federal legalization in 2018.

The study found a 475% increase in cannabis-related traffic injury emergency room visits since 2010, and a 223 per cent increase after legalization.

The study also found that younger adults, particularly males, had an increased risk of cannabis-involved traffic injuries. The study also found that almost half of these cannabis-traffic injury related emergency visits also involved alcohol. The majority of these injuries were severe, with 49.5% of those admitted to the hospital and 21% to the intensive care unit. This issue is likely nationwide, with more Canadians using cannabis over the past decade. On a personal level, I find it incredibly disingenuous on the part of our government and these independent study groups when year after year cannabis-focused traffic stats come out, and they conflate the numbers by allowing alcohol involvement to inflate their stats. I’m not advocating for driving while high, and I admire the work done by the Ottawa Hospital, but driving under the influence of marijuana is not nearly the same as driving while drunk, or driving while drunk and stoned. That being said, I’m sure we can all agree that keeping our roads safe from impaired driving is beneficial for everybody.

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