New Study Finds Costs of Marijuana-Impaired Driving in Canada Total More Than $1 Billion

New Study Finds Costs of Marijuana-Impaired Driving in Canada Total More Than $1 Billion

A new study led by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) found that the estimated cost of marijuana-impaired driving injuries, collisions, and fatalities totaled more than $1 billion in 2012. Teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 34 were the most likely victims of marijuana-impaired driving, representing nearly two-thirds of pot-attributable fatalities, injuries, and collision victims.

“There will never be enough tax revenue to pay for the costs of pot legalization,� said SAM President and former senior White House drug policy advisor Kevin Sabet. “Now that Canada is seriously considering legalizing marijuana, this study bears more weight than ever. Though pot lobbyists continue to trumpet purported financial benefits, the United States is seeing the same trend as our neighbors to the north. A recent analysis of projected marijuana legalization costs in Rhode Island found that costs like increased enforcement, drugged driving, and workplace accidents would outweigh projected revenues by over 25 percent.�

Beyond projected costs surpassing revenues, legalization also has not proven the tax windfall marijuana special interests claimed. Colorado’s state deficit is currently growing, not shrinking. Alaska’s pot tax revenue will be less than one-fifth of original projections. And the Oregon entities that were supposed to receive funding from pot taxes – like the Common School Fund and drug treatment programs – haven’t seen a dime.


Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.

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