Report: WA drivers in deadly crashes who tested positive for pot - KPTV - FOX 12

Report: WA drivers in deadly crashes who tested positive for pot up 48 percent

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

The number of Washington state drivers involved in deadly crashes who also tested positive for marijuana is up 48 percent. That’s according to newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

The WTSC says they’ve seen marijuana involvement in fatal crashes remain steady over the years, but then it spiked in 2014, after marijuana became recreationally legal.

The new data is able to distinguish between drivers who test positive for THC, the impairing substance in marijuana, and those who have residual marijuana in their system from prior use days before, according to WTSC.

The reports claims the number of drivers testing positive for active THC has steadily increased, from less than half of marijuana-positive drivers in 2010 to up to almost 65% of drivers in 2013.

Then in 2014, an alarming 85% of drivers testing positive for marijuana were positive for THC, according to the report. 

Owners of The Herbery, a recreational pot shop in Vancouver, say they’re doing their part to help cut down on those numbers. They’re passing out pamphlets to customers reminding them of the rules of the road, and urging them not to get behind the wheel while under the influence of marijuana.

“They need to stay at home and not get behind the wheel when they’re under the influence,” said Herbery CEO Jim Mullen. “There’s a lot of stats that talk about alcohol versus marijuana and to me it doesn’t matter. If you’re impaired, you’re impaired and you shouldn’t drive. A car is a dangerous weapon.”

Beginning Friday, Aug. 21st through Labor Day, the WTSC says there will be extra officers out across the state at times and locations where DUI is a problem. 

The WTSC says by publicizing these extra patrols they hope more people will plan ahead if they will be drinking or using marijuana.

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