Advocates for legalizing marijuana sometimes argue that pot is a more benign drug than alcohol. But a new study indicates that marijuana's influence on drivers is anything but safe.
According to a story on PluggedIn.com, fatal crashes involving drivers under the influence of pot have tripled in the last decade, according to a new report from researchers at Columbia University's School of Public Health.
Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Prevention at Columbia, says this:
"Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana. If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving."
Singer and actress Demi Lovato, whose own problems with substance abuse have been well documented, has weighed in on Twitter.
She says "I wish more people would lose the stigma and treat addiction as the deadly and serious DISEASE that it is. Drugs are not something to glamorize in pop music or film to portray as harmless recreational fun. It's not cute, 'cool' or admirable."
And last week, actress Jamie Lee Curtis said this: "Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my living clean and sober, free from the grips of a long, secret prescription painkiller and alcohol addiction.
Commenting on the commenting on the suspected drug overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jamie Lee said “I went to sleep last night imagining the grief of the family, children, friends, colleagues and fans of Mr. Hoffman. His gifts, so powerful, his demons, even more so."
To learn more about how to protect your kids from the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, go to drugfree.org.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.