US: rising car fatalities linked to marijuana use image

Just last week in the US a five-car crash near Monroe, Washington, with a dozen people injured, had the police arrest a woman driving under the influence of marijuana.

And the 12 people should actually see themselves as the lucky ones, as a new study made by the Columbia University sees the research finding that over the 2000-2010 decade the number of deaths in car crashes linked to marijuana consumption had a three fold increase.

The Colombia researchers studied the toxicological investigations of more than 24,000 car deaths, with the conclusion that marijuana had a role in 12% of them. The new study comes in line with a 2010 research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finding that one in eight high school seniors drove at least once under the influence of the drug. Also, further federal data shows that almost 50% of drivers that lost their lives in a car crash and was found to have consumed marijuana were aged below 25.

The new study, but also others pending from the NHTSA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, comes as concerns are raised towards the new federal approach, supported by president Barack Obama, towards the use of the drug, which saw for example in 2013 the Colorado and Washington states approving the public use of marijuana.