Drug-impaired driving will also increase if marijuana is legalized.
Marijuana is already a significant causal factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths.
Monitoring programs that are linked to swift and certain, but not severe, consequences for any drug use have demonstrated outstanding results including lower recidivism and lower rates of incarceration. Retrieved March 31, 2010 from Injury Control/Articles/Associated Files/811175Walsh, J.
New policies to curb drugged driving will not only make our roads and highways safer and provide an important new path to treatment, but they will also reduce illegal drug use. cited in Casinos in Florida: An analysis of the economic and social impacts. Tallahassee, FL: Executive Office of the Governor Office of Planning and Budgeting. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings.
In a recent national roadside survey of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6 percent tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/d L (2.2 percent).
In another study of seriously injured drivers admitted to a Level-1 shock trauma center, more than a quarter of all drivers (26.9 percent) tested positive for marijuana. Future drug policies must be smarter and more effective in curbing the demand for illegal drugs including marijuana. Smarter-drug prevention policies should start by reducing illegal drug use among the 5 million criminal offenders who are on parole and probation in the U. They are among the nation’s heaviest and most problem-generating illegal drug users. Results of the 2007 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers. (DOT HS 811 175) Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These figures show that the costs of legal alcohol are more than 12 times the total tax revenue collected, and that the costs of legal tobacco are about 8 times the tax revenue collected. The costs of legalizing marijuana would not only be financial.New marijuana users would not be limited to adults if marijuana were legalized, just as regulations on alcohol and tobacco do not prevent use by youth.Contrary to the beliefs of those who advocate the legalization of marijuana, the current balanced, restrictive, and bipartisan drug policies of the United States are working reasonably well and they have contributed to reductions in the rate of marijuana use in our nation.The rate of current, past 30-day use of marijuana by Americans aged 12 and older in 1979 was 13.2 percent. This 54-percent reduction in marijuana use over that 29-year period is a major public health triumph, not a failure. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for general use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.While both alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated, the tax benefits to the public are vastly overshadowed by the adverse consequences of their use.Alcohol-related costs total over 5 billion while federal and states collected an estimated .5 billion in tax revenue; similarly, tobacco use costs over 0 billion but only billion is collected in taxes.The future of drug policy is not a choice between using the criminal justice system or treatment.The more appropriate goal is to get these two systems to work together more effectively to improve both public safety and public health.