A recent report published by MJBizDaily showed that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. are projected to surpass $30 billion in 2022. That means people are spending more money on marijuana than they are on beer ($28 billion) and chocolate ($20 billion). While still paling in comparison to the $53 billion American spent on tobacco products, the report showed that sales of legal cannabis could reach $57 billion by 2028.
What’s Driving Sales
Marijuana is now legal in over 20 states including Washington, DC and 18 other states which allow for its use to treat certain medical conditions. Cannabis is still illegal in 12 states. Marijuana could become legal in other states due to the possibility of other markets opening up as politicians, lawmakers, and lobbyists push for the legalization of marijuana for other purposes.
Medical Marijuana In Texas
Texas law prohibits medical marijuana to be prescribed in smokable form. Eligible Texans have access to medical marijuana through the State’s compassionate use program (CUP) administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Texans with certain medical conditions may qualify. Physicians can prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) cannabis for medical use to treat certain ailments.
Low-THC is derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa L. The sections of the plant and any resulting compounds, salts, resins, oils and derivatives that contain less than 0.5 % of tetrahydrocannabinols are deemed low-THC. As mentioned above, medical marijuana may not be dispensed in smokable form, it is limited to edible forms which require the product to be taken by mouth and swallowed.
Texas Marijuana Laws
For more information concerning Texas law as it applies to non-legalized marijuana, see the links below.
What The Statistics Show
According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, legalization of the recreational use of marijuana was associated with a 6.5% increase in injury crash rates and a 2.3% increase in fatal crash rates. The combined effect of legalization and retail sales was a 5.8% increase in injury crash rates and a 4.1% increase in fatal crash rates. Across states, the effects on injury crash rates ranged as high as an 18% increase. The effects on fatal crash rates showed a 4% increase.
How Marijuana Use Effects Drivers
Numerous studies have shown a direct relationship between marijuana use and impaired driving ability. Marijuana is the most commonly found intoxicant in the blood of drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes, including accidents resulting in death.
Marijuana not only effects cognitive function, its use has been shown to delay bodily reaction time, which is vital when operating a motor vehicle. Research conducted on six frequent marijuana users showed that after ingesting various levels of THC, their linear movement time was significantly reduced and error rates continued to increased significantly as the level of THC ingested increased.
The Short and Long-Term Costs
Driving under the influence (DUI), whether it be under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other illegal substance can cost you significantly, both in the short and long term. When it comes to alcohol, every state other than Utah (0.05) has the same legal limit of 0.08.
If you cause an accident while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any intoxicant, including marijuana, you will incur substantial costs which might ruin your life forever. The average cost of a DUI is over $20,000 and can go much higher depending on the accident. Take into consideration the following costs:
- Bail/Bond Fees
- Impound and Towing Fees
- Attorney Fees
- Court Fees and Fines
- Drunk Driving Courses
- Vehicle Repairs
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Damages If You Get Sued
When you take all of this into account, is it really worth driving under the influence?
What To Do If You’ve Been Hit By An Impaired Driver
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