If you had to hazard a guess about driving under the influence of marijuana, would you suspect that cannabis-friendly states would have a bigger problem than prohibitionist states? Surprisingly, a recently released study suggests just the opposite. The study seems to indicate the cannabis-friendly states have fewer DUI problems.
It should be noted that the study was based on self-reporting. That does not make it automatically suspect, but self-reporting is always a tricky enterprise. Whether you are talking about cannabis DUI or vaping being an effective smoking cessation strategy, people with a vested interest in the topic at hand have incentive to be less than truthful.
It could very well be that the study results are right on. Let us assume they are. It would be interesting to explore the actual reasons behind what the study uncovered.
More Use at Home
Without hard data, we are left to speculate as to why cannabis-friendly states have fewer DUI problems. One possible reason is that legalization encourages more home consumption. In other words, because cannabis is legal, people feel less of a need to go out and consume discreetly. If that means they are staying home more often, they might also be driving less frequently.
We can apply the same principle to alcohol. Let us say your state allows alcohol consumption at age 21. Prior to reaching that age, a young person is more likely to leave the house to go drinking with friends. But once they come of legal age, there is less incentive to go out drinking. Such thinking is probably a stretch, but it is at least worth considering.
The Delivery Option
Cannabis home delivery might also play a role here. Consider cannabis users in states where home delivery isn’t allowed. They need to drive to a pharmacy or dispensary to get their product. Suppose they consume a little bit before heading home? They could be driving while impaired.
On the other hand, home delivery mitigates the need to go out. Consumers are more likely to dig into that new delivery in the privacy of their own homes rather than taking product elsewhere to use. That theoretically cuts down on cannabis DUI.
If home delivery does influence cannabis DUI rates, there should be a statistically notable difference between states with home delivery and those without. Furthermore, differences should be noted in states like Utah, where Brigham City‘s Beehive Farmacy says home delivery is legal but not yet widespread in rural areas.
More Responsible Users
Still another plausible reason explaining DUI discrepancies is that users in cannabis-friendly states are more responsible. Could it be that the novelty and excitement of doing something illicit is lost when states go cannabis friendly, subsequently taking the thrill out of driving while impaired? Anything is possible.
If that were the case though, alcohol DUI should not continue being the serious problem it is. The reality is that consumers still drink and drive even though alcohol is legal in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
This Is All Speculation
In the end, all we can do is speculate on why the research revealed what it did. The researchers themselves offer their own reasons. They believe education in cannabis-friendly states could be one factor, while more accurate product labels could be another.
Do cannabis-friendly states have fewer DUI problems? It would appear so. As to why this is the case, no one really knows. Perhaps more research into the topic is needed. Studying the issue further could reveal some valuable information about cannabis consumers and their behaviors