Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked To Reduced Drunk Driving And Safer Roads, Study On Auto Insurance Data Suggests

Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked To Reduced Drunk Driving And Safer Roads, Study On Auto Insurance Data Suggests
MJ moment

Auto insurance premiums decreased in states following the legalization of medical marijuana, according to a new study that builds on existing research signaling that cannabis reform is associated with reduced risk of dangerous driving—contrary to prohibitionist arguments. The study, published this month in the journal Health Economics, analyzed insurance data from 2014 to 2019. It found that premiums dropped by about $22 per year on average after states enacted legalization—and the study authors think that may have something to do with reduced drunk driving in those states, signaling a possible substitution effect whereby people switch from alcohol to cannabis. A $22 premium reduction might not seem significant on its face, but the reason for that decline is what’s important. Access to medical cannabis seems to be linked to better road safety, which translates into significant cost savings—both collectively for people paying insurance premiums and overall for health-related expenditures related to auto accidents. The analysis determined that “medical cannabis legalization has reduced auto insurance premiums by $1.5 billion in all states that have currently legalized, with the potential to reduce premiums by an additional $900 million if the remaining states were to legalize”—a combined total of $2.4 billion in potential payment reductions for drivers under nationwide medical cannabis access. “Because auto insurance premiums are directly tied to property damage and health outcomes, we find evidence of a positive social impact of medical cannabis on auto safety,” the study said. Fewer health expenditure auto claims has also meant about $820 million annually in cost savings in legal medical marijuana states, the study says. And there’s the potential of an additional $350 million in annual savings if cannabis is legalized across the country. “Our results indicate that the legalization and access to medical cannabis positively impacts auto safety.” What makes this study unique…

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Source : Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked To Reduced Drunk Driving And Safer Roads, Study On Auto Insurance Data Suggests

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