A recent study suggests there’s a direct link between medical marijuana legalization and reduced auto insurance premiums.
Read along as we discuss how medical marijuana may be responsible for decreasing the number of drunk driving incidents. From cheaper insurance premiums to lower alcohol consumption rates, legal medical marijuana is spurring significant changes across the US.
States With Legal Medical Marijuana Experience Fewer DUI Incidents and Lower Insurance Premiums
According to the study, states with legal medical marijuana laws in place experienced fewer DUI-related incidents compared to regions without legal access to MMJ.
Overall, the study uses automotive insurance premiums as the focal point to gain informative insight into the relationship between DUIs and medical marijuana.
Below, we’ll discuss key points of the study to help you understand how medical marijuana is lowering the prevalence of drunk driving in the United States.
Medical Marijuana May Reduce Alcohol Dependency
Studies have shown that cannabis weakens the urge to binge drink alcohol.
Furthermore, the data from studies regarding alcohol consumption and cannabis use suggest a decrease in alcohol dependency. Cannabinoids within cannabis, such as CBD, are responsible for breaking the chemical bond within the body that facilitates certain habits, such as alcohol consumption.
Therefore, it’s no wonder why states like Florida are witnessing an overall decrease in DUI-related incidents.
Neighborhoods With Local Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Have Fewer DUIs
One of the main data points within the recent study is that areas with local medical marijuana dispensaries are witnessing a dramatic decrease in DUIs.
By analyzing the number of DUI-related incidents during a large time horizon, researchers could pinpoint a decline once medical marijuana became legal in a given area.
Although anti-cannabis activists point to higher crime and DUIC-related incidents in neighborhoods with local MMJ dispensaries — the data counters the argument.
Auto Insurance Premiums are Declining in States Where Medical Marijuana is Legal
The key takeaway of this recent study is that auto insurance premiums are falling due to medical marijuana availability.
In the study, researchers used nationwide zip code data to capture average auto insurance premiums from 2014 to 2019. Although it’s clear that auto insurance premiums have risen throughout the United States — they are declining in areas where medical marijuana is legal.
According to the study, average auto insurance premiums decreased by $22. However, areas with local medical marijuana dispensaries enjoyed deeper discounts.
According to the study, legal medical marijuana has already saved upwards of $1.5 billion in insurance premiums. Furthermore, if the remaining states would adopt legal medical marijuana, the United States would collectively see up to $2.4 billion in insurance premium savings.
How Legal Medical Marijuana Can Reduce Health-Related Costs Related to DUI-Related Incidents
When it comes to insurance agencies — they won’t reduce your premium for nothing.
In other words, insurance companies must see proof before they reduce rates. In the case of auto insurance premiums, the evidence is in the DUI data.
DUI incidents are extremely prevalent in the United States. With over 1 million DUIs annually, driving while under the influence is often fatal. For insurance companies, high insurance premiums are the answer to cover the cost of insuring countless drivers on the road.
According to the CDC, alcohol-related driving incidents cost $44 billion annually. According to the study published by Health Economics, data suggests that legal medical marijuana has so far saved upwards of $820 million in health-related costs related to DUI incidents.
Ultimately, it’s believed that nationwide legalization of medical marijuana could increase savings by up to $1.1 billion. Ultimately, the current figures are the driving factor in reduced insurance premiums in states with legal access to medical marijuana.
The Positive Social Impact of Medical Marijuana
Lowering auto insurance premiums has a positive social impact — especially in low-income communities.
However, medical marijuana’s positive social impact extends far beyond reduced insurance costs. As previously mentioned, the legalization of medical marijuana is directly linked to reduced alcohol consumption and DUIs.
Thus, communities with legal access to medical marijuana experience less DUI-related property damage and health costs. By experiencing a significant decline in DUI instances, communities become safer.
Legal Medical Marijuana Leads to Less DUIC
Now that you understand how medical marijuana is paving the way toward lower auto insurance premiums — let’s discuss how legal MMJ reduces the risk of DUIC.
DUIC, also known as driving under the influence of cannabis, is a key point for many anti-cannabis activists. However, recent studies present data that legal medical marijuana states have fewer DUIC-related incidents as opposed to states without access to medical marijuana.
Overall, the data suggest that individuals who live in recreational or medical marijuana states are far less likely to consume marijuana and drive. However, the data set also points towards individuals in non-legal medical marijuana states as more likely to drive while under the influence of cannabis.
Whether you reside in a legal state or not — driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. It appears, however, that residents in legal states are less likely to risk a DUIC because access to marijuana is not clandestine.
The Future of Medical Marijuana and Auto Insurance Premiums
As they say — the numbers never lie.
From millions of dollars to thousands of lives saved annually from drunk driving-related auto accidents, it’s clear that the legalization of medical marijuana is a key topic for public health officials and insurance agencies.
Drunk driving accounts for 11,000 deaths per year — all of which are preventable. As such, drunk driving is an epidemic that severely affects the well-being of communities and monetary resources.
By implementing legal medical marijuana laws, the rate of DUIs decreases. A decrease in drunk-driving-related incidents is followed by lowered auto insurance premiums.
Ultimately, more money in your wallet and safer roads are a big win for the community. If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to qualify for medical marijuana in Florida — reach out to Compassionate Healthcare of Florida.