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Did Cannabis Traffic-Related Hospitalizations In Canada Increase After Legalization?

Toronto, Canada: The implementation of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada is not associated with any increase in traffic injury-related hospitalizations, according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Investigators assessed nationwide rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in the years before and immediately following legalization.

Authors concluded, “Overall, there is no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada.”

The findings are consistent with those of a 2021 Canadian study that similarly “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

Several studies from the United States also found no significant changes in traffic safety in the years immediately following the enactment of adult-use legalization. However, other assessments evaluating longer-term trends in traffic safety following legalization have yielded inconsistent results.

Full text of the study, “The effect of recreational cannabis legalization on rates of traffic injury in Canada,” appears in Addiction. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.

Source: NORMLmake a donation