During a AAA Texas-sponsored event, the auto club blatantly lied to attendees when they told them that drivers who tested positive for cannabis were 25 percent more likely to be involved in an auto accident.
This statistic came from a study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2015. However, AAA only took the statistic, without providing the information that came directly after it in the study.
“Authors reported that drivers who tested positive for the presence of THC possessed an unadjusted, elevated risk of accident of 25 percent (Odds Ratio=1.25) compared to controls (drivers who tested negative for any drug or alcohol),” the study says.
So while what AAA said could technically be considered correct, it is a misrepresentation of information.
The study went on to say:
“However, this elevated risk became insignificant (OR=1.05) after investigators adjusted for demographic variables, such as the driver’s’ age and gender. After researchers controlled for both demographic variables and the presence of alcohol, THC-positive drivers’ elevated risk of accident was zero (OR=1).”
Other studies have also proven that cannabis poses little increased risk to safety on the roadways. One particular study found that traffic fatalities actually decreased in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Even AAA provided the cannabis industry with an essential study, which has helped to prove that the level of THC in a person’s blood is not an accurate way to determine impairment from cannabis.
“We are deeply concerned that lawmakers are considering the legalization of recreational marijuana,” the AAA’s response states. “AAA opposes the legalization … of marijuana for recreational use because of its negative traffic safety implications.”
If negative traffic safety implications are the only reason that AAA opposes legalization of cannabis, then they need to start doing some fact-checking. Taking hand-picked pieces of data from a study – like they did when referencing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study – doesn’t fairly or accurately display the issue at hand.
Instead, it makes cannabis look more dangerous than it is – while we should be focused on policies that cut down on the amount of drinking and driving that happens, considering alcohol-related deaths are recorded in high numbers each year.
If you would like to help NORML and stand-up to AAA they provide you with a form to:
Tell them once again that their decision to “oppose any measure to commercialize the use of marijuana in [a] state” is not in line with the majority of the public who believes that the legalization and regulation of cannabis is preferable to the failed policies of criminal prohibition.
You can get to the form by clicking here – all you need to do is fill out a small form and it takes you to a pre-written letter that will be sent to AAA under your name.