Medical Marijuana Reduces Insurance Rates, Study Shows!

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A new study from the University of Iowa found that states that have legalized medical marijuana have much lower insurance premiums than states that have not.

What They Did: Business professor at the University of Iowa Cameron Ellis looked studied crash rates in different areas of the state by zip code from 2014 to 2019. Insurance premiums fell by about $22 per year per driver in places where medical marijuana is legal. The largest decreases were in areas with a high prevalence of drunk driving before legalization and in ZIP codes with a high concentration of dispensaries.

Mechanism of Action: Ellis tells Axios that in states where medicinal marijuana is legal, there has been a shift away from alcoholic beverages and toward cannabis. Both medications’ adverse effects on driving have been significant and varied.

This could encourage intoxicated individuals to take the wheel. They’re probably also out at a club or restaurant and have to go home. Cannabis consumers, meanwhile, are probably high at home. Because of the psychoactive effects of cannabis, they may also experience paranoia or anxiety while driving, adds Cameron Ellis.

Between the lines: A 2018 study found that in places where marijuana was allowed, stores witnessed a 12% decline in alcohol sales.

The Bottom Line: Avoid driving if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.

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