The dark side of the legalization of marijuana may not be as harmless as we are made to believe. This is a drug that alters your mind, your emotions, and your senses. It is a mind altering substance and delays your reflexes. As the drug becomes legalized you will see more and more of this tragedy. I hear the same arguments that alcohol hurts more people than marijuana, but at one time that was illegal. Now you see the direct consequence of that law by the senseless deaths of innocent people involved in drunken driving accidents. I guess a drug that makes you cough that hard and has your body rejecting it only means it’s good for you.

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NBC NEWS.COM: During each shift at her drive-through window, once an hour, Cordelia Cordova sees people rolling joints in their cars. Some blow smoke in her face and smile.

Cordova, who lost a 23-year-old niece and her 1-month-old son to a driver who admitted he smoked pot that day, never smiles back. She thinks legal marijuana in Colorado, where she works, is making the problem of drugged driving worse — and now new research supports her claim.

“Nobody hides it anymore when driving,” Cordova said. “They think it’s a joke because it’s legal. Nobody will take this seriously until somebody loses another loved one.”

As medical marijuana sales expanded into 20 states, legal weed was detected in the bodies of dead drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to those who died behind the wheel in 1999, according to a new study from Columbia University published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

“The trend suggests that marijuana is playing an increased role in fatal crashes,” said Dr. Guohua Li, a co-author and director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center READ MORE: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/pot-fuels-surge-drugged-driving-deaths-n22991

HEALTH NEWS: The legalization of marijuana is an idea that is gaining momentum in the United States, but there may be a dark side to pot becoming more commonplace, a new study suggests.

Fatal crashes involving marijuana use tripled during the previous decade, fueling some of the overall increase in drugged-driving traffic deaths, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health report.

“Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” said co-author Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia. “If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”

The research team drew its conclusions from crash statistics from six states that routinely perform toxicology tests on drivers involved in fatal car wrecks — California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. The statistics included more than 23,500 drivers who died within one hour of a crash between 1999 and 2010.

Alcohol contributed to about the same percentage of traffic fatalities throughout the decade, about 40 percent, Li said READ MORE: http://news.health.com/2014/02/04/fatal-car-crashes-involving-pot-use-have-tripled-in-u-s-study-finds/

FOXNEWS VIDEO ON DRIVING HIGH WHILE IMPAIRED

CNN NEWS VIDEO TESTING DRIVERS WHILE HIGH

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