The association between legalisation of cannabis use and traffic deaths in Uruguay.

Addiction. 2020 Jan 31;:

Authors: Nazif-Munoz JI, Oulhote Y, Ouimet MC

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While cannabis use has been found to impair motor vehicle driving, the association between cannabis legalisation and motor vehicle fatalities is unclear. In Uruguay in December 2013, cannabis for recreational purposes was legalized. This study assessed the association between implementation of this law and changes in traffic fatality rates.
DESIGN: Interrupted time series analysis of traffic fatality rates of light motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists in urban and rural settings. Changes are reported as step and trend effects against modelled trends in the absence of legalisation.
SETTING: Uruguay, Montevideo and four rural provinces (Colonia, Florida, Río Negro and San José) from January 1st , 2012 to December 31st , 2017.
CASES AND MEASUREMENT: Weekly traffic fatalities of light motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists per type of vehicle. Data were gathered from the National Road Safety Agency of Uruguay and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works respectively.
RESULTS: Cannabis legalisation was associated with a 52.4% immediate increase (95% CI: 11.6, 93.3, p = 0.012) in the light motor vehicle driver’s fatality rate. However, no significant change in the motorcyclists’ fatality rate was observed. In Montevideo the legislation was associated with an absolute increase in its light motor vehicle driver’s fatality rate by 0.06 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.11, P = 0.025), but no significant associations were observed in rural settings.
CONCLUSIONS: In Uruguay, the 2013 legislation legalizing recreational cannabis consumption may have been associated with an increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes, particularly in light motor-vehicle drivers and urban settings.

PMID: 32003494 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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