Study: No Surge in DUI Among Young Adults Following Marijuana Legalization in Washington

A recent study sheds light on the impact of recreational cannabis legalization in Washington, revealing no significant increase in impaired driving among younger demographics.

Published in the journal Prevention Science, the research analyzed data spanning five years post-legalization, examining trends in driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA), cannabis (DUIC), and simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use (DUIAC).

Overall, the prevalence of DUIA decreased, especially among drinkers, but remained concerning. Interestingly, driving under the influence of cannabis did not significantly change and even decreased among cannabis users. However, the prevalence of DUIAC showed a slight decrease.

These findings parallel a 2022 study highlighting lower self-reported driving under the influence of cannabis in states with legal cannabis compared to those without. The authors stressed the need for continued public education and prevention efforts, particularly in states without legal cannabis.

Meanwhile, another study suggests older adults may be particularly vulnerable to cannabis-related impairment while driving due to age-related cognitive changes and potential interactions with medications. Conducted in Canada, where marijuana is legal for adults, the study underscores the importance of considering age-related factors in cannabis-related DUI prevention efforts.


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