Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado, but it’s unclear if legalization of the drug is to blame.
As The Denver Post reports, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has more than doubled since 2013, according to federal and state data.
Close to a dozen drivers who died in crashes in Front Range counties last year were found positive for increasingly potent levels of marijuana - nearly all of them with levels five times the amount allowed by law and one at 22 times that amount.
While the rise in marijuana-related traffic fatalities coincides with the state’s 2012 legalization of recreational marijuana, transportation and public safety officials say the increasing numbers cannot be definitively linked to legalized marijuana.
However, police and victims’ families, among others, say the rapid increase in the numbers of drivers testing positive for marijuana use should not be ignored and that more should be done to warn drivers of the dangers of driving while high.