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Study unable to firmly connect legal pot and truck safety

Relationship ‘too soon to calculate’ because more research needed, according to ATRI

Limited research on the effect of legalizing marijuana throughout the U.S. on truck driver safety is too limited to make a hard connection between the two, according to a new study.

Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on the Trucking Industry, released on Monday by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), points out that research available so far has found that driving under the influence of marijuana causes impairment, which does negatively affect highway safety.

In addition, initial data suggests that legalizing marijuana has negatively impacted highway safety, particularly in the case of increases in nonfatal crashes.

However, “it is too soon to calculate the relationship between legal marijuana and highway safety outcomes,” ATRI emphasized.

“The impacts of impairment on individual drivers and overall highway safety have yet to be adequately documented through research. Testing impaired individuals through a quantitative measurement — which has been key to combating drunk driving — remains elusive in the case of marijuana. More research is needed.”

ATRI, a nonprofit overseen by large trucking companies and the American Trucking Associations, uses much of the report to outline marijuana legalization trends, past research on marijuana use and driver impairment, and the current state of federal enforcement measures aimed at detecting marijuana abusers in trucking. [Read More @ FreightWaves]

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