The general consensus is Massachusetts will be among the next wave of states to legalize marijuana. The Huffington Post explains our state has already decriminalized the drug and legalized it for medical use. As well, poll results show approximately half of the state supports the taxation and regulation of legalized cannabis. These facts raise obvious concerns for residents, namely the effect it will have on the safety of our roads.
The link between marijuana use and car accidents is highly contested in the media. Some experts claim the drug is just as dangerous as alcohol among drivers, warning the number of crashes will skyrocket as more states legalize it.
Some researchers say approximately 25 percent of traffic fatalities involve drug use. Others counter that marijuana users are better than drunk drivers because they tend to realize they are impaired and slow down or take extra care while driving.
However, most experts agree: Marijuana can affect decision-making, impede multitasking and obstruct peripheral vision. The exact extent of the impairment is less important than the fact that impairment exists.
Most researchers conclude there is no way to know the effect of legalization for certain until it happens. Even so, anecdotal evidence suggests cannabis use can lead to car accidents in some situations.
In any case, when an impaired driver causes a car accident that injures an innocent pedestrian or motorist, the victim deserves compensation. At Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., we are committed to helping accident victims whether the driver was drunk, high, or otherwise distracted. We carefully analyze all the cases we accept, and we conduct thorough investigations to maximize compensation.
Dispatch News reports Tj Justice was driving home from the grocery store when he struck a cyclist. Police interviewed Justice, who said he’d used the drug the previous night.
In response, officers conducted a blood test and found Justice most likely smoked the day the accident occurred. Police also reported Justice was speeding by as much as 10 mph. The cyclist, Eldridge Griffith, died at the hospital from his injuries.
Prosecutors looked into the case and found police had cited Justice for driving while intoxicated four times, but they weren’t sure a judge would allow that information in court. Furthermore, surveillance video shows it was possible that Justice couldn’t see the cyclist because of another driver.
Although Justice will not face any criminal charges for the crash, Griffith’s family could still file a lawsuit against him. If you are worried you won’t find justice through a criminal trial after a car accident with an impaired driver, let a personal injury lawyer from our firm help. Contact us at 617-917-3917.