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Pot-related auto fatalities have tripled in the last decade

New research implies driving under the influence of marijuana may be more dangerous than previously thought.
Amanda Taylor, KSL Modified: June 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm •  Published: June 11, 2014
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New research implies driving under the influence of marijuana may be more dangerous than previously thought.

Columbia University’s study revealed pot contributed to three times more fatal car accidents than a decade earlier.

“Columbia University researchers performing a toxicology examination of nearly 24,000 driving fatalities concluded that marijuana contributed to 12% of traffic deaths in 2010, tripled from a decade earlier,” USA Today said.

USA Today also said previous studies have shown most drivers who are fatally injured under the influence of marijuana are under the age of 25.

“One in eight high school seniors responding to a 2010 survey admitted to driving after smoking marijuana,” USA Today said.

“A separate study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the drug can impair a teen's driving while also lowering IQ,” MSN Autos said. “The report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse could generate some controversy because it also claims a potential link to addiction, something legalization proponents have generally discounted.”

According to USA Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse are concluding a three-year study to determine how inhaled marijuana impacts driving performance. This study, along with Columbia University’s and others like it, could influence future laws regarding the legalization of marijuana.