A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the number of drivers who operate a car under the influence of marijuana to be in the millions. A survey conducted by Zebra found that almost 60% of drivers who use marijuana admit to driving under the influence.
Marijuana users are about 25% more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use. In 2015, an NHTSA study found that 13% of nighttime, weekend drivers have marijuana in their system, from 9% in 2007. After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often linked to drugged driving.
To make matters worse, the people most likely to say they have driven while high were people in the 21-25 age group. The second highest group were people between the age of 16-20. That is a concern considering people between 16-20 are the youngest drivers on the road. New drivers already have a higher risk of accidents because of their inexperience on the road.
Impaired driving is the primary criminal cause of bodily harm or death in the US. According to NHTSA, drug use among fatally injured drivers tested for drugs rose from 25% in 2007 to 42% in 2016, and marijuana presence doubled in this time frame.
Further research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the number of drivers in Washington who test positive for marijuana after a fatal crash has doubled—from about 9% to about 18%—since the state legalized it in 2012.