Category Archives: Driving

Parents Warn Legal Marijuana Increases Traffic Deaths

For Immediate Release

Parents Opposed to Pot Warns Retail Marijuana Sales Increases Traffic Deaths

Merrifield, VA –March 31, 2022–As New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Virginia move to legalize commercial sales of marijuana, Parents Opposed to Pot warns people in those states to expect a rise in traffic deaths. In Illinois, the first state to commercialize marijuana through the state legislature (June 2019), traffic deaths rose 33 percent in the first two years after cannabis shops opened on January 1, 2020.

Traffic deaths in Illinois were 1,010 in 2019.In 2020, which included the COVID lockdowns, traffic deaths rose 18.2 percent to 1,196. Then in 2021, traffic deaths rose to 1,342, according the state website.

A study published in the June 2020 Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine estimated nationwide marijuana legalization would result in 6,800 more traffic deaths each year.  The researchers looked at the first four states to legalize marijuana, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and compared them before and after with states that had neither recreational nor medical marijuana. 

Congress is expected to vote on the MORE Act this week, a move to legalize marijuana nationally that the House is expected to vote on this week. 

Two years ago, an American Automobile Association post-legalization study of Washington state, found drivers involved in fatal crashes who test positive for marijuana, doubled.[1] A study in 2019, five years after Washington and Colorado opened retail cannabis shops found a statistically significant increase in marijuana related traffic fatalities of 2% in these states.[2]

Before the Illinois state legislature passed a bill to legalize pot in May 2019, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, warned of the need for a roadside test comparable to the breathalyzer for alcohol.[3] States legalized marijuana without an adequate test to find out if a driver is marijuana impaired.

As of 2021, Illinois had trained only 122 law enforcement officials trained as Drug Recognition Experts in the entire stateAccording to Chicago- HIDTA,Illinois does not distinguish DUI arrests made for alcohol, marijuana, or other substances.

Marijuana poses numerous risks to safe driving. “The drug causes alterations in mental status, vigilance, judgment, and other neurologic functions. Studies have shown that impairment persists even when the driver no longer feels high. Because THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is fat soluble it leaves the blood quickly and builds up in the brain. Daily users have been shown to have cognitive impairment that lasts weeks after stopping marijuana,” explains Russell Kamer, MD, a board member of Parents Opposed to Pot, a nonprofit with a mission to educate parents.

Parents Opposed to Pot is tracking news reports of child deaths related to adults under the influence of marijuana. Since 2012, when Colorado first legalized recreational marijuana, at least 39 children died in DUID marijuana car crashes related to parent or caregiver drug usage.[4]  

Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501C3 nonprofit based in Merrifield, Virginia. Follow PopPot in social media: Twitter @poppotgroup, Facebook @poppotorg. For more information, visit the website, PopPot.org or call phone 773-322-7523.


[1] https://newsroom.aaa.com/2020/01/fatal-crashes-involving-drivers-who-test-positive-for-marijuana-increase-after-state-legalizes-drug/

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001457519310267

[3] https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/drivers-influence-marijuana-crash-illinois-legalization/

[4] https://poppot.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/122921-Child-dangers-fact-sheet-FINAL.pdf

She’s Gone and She’s Not Coming Back

By Corinne Gasper, director of Jennifersmessengers.org

“She’s gone and she is never coming back” that was the harsh statement I heard one morning after making my way to my mailbox three weeks after my daughter was killed by a marijuana-impaired driver. I was confronted by a neighbor who had recently lost his wife of 50 years. He thought I needed to hear the truth so I wouldn’t delude myself. It was shocking, but perhaps it was something I needed to hear. Before that, I was slowly trying to process her loss and live without her in my life. No more phone calls, no more plans, no more Jennifer to love and worry about. Even now, 9 years later, tears stream down my face as I write this.

I knew I could not let this tragedy be in vain and happen to another innocent person. I heard that finding a “new purpose” is the last step in grief process. I also have learned that in helping others, we help ourselves. So slowly, I learned all about today’s marijuana and how I was going to make a difference through advocating and educating about the horrible outcomes stemming from the marijuana expansion in our country. Continue reading She’s Gone and She’s Not Coming Back

Mother of woman killed by ‘high’ driver: Brown must stop marijuana banking to save others

Corinne LaMarc-Gasper, Guest columnist  

This column appeared in the Columbus Dispatch last week.

I received the worst news a parent can get nine years ago: my 22-year-old daughter had been killed in a car crash.

Even more heartbreaking was the fact that my daughter’s death could have been avoided if the other driver hadn’t been high on marijuana.

With stories like mine becoming tragically more common, we must reassess and slow the rapid expansion of the marijuana industry.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to include the deceptively named SAFE Banking Act in the National Defense Authorization Act. Continue reading Mother of woman killed by ‘high’ driver: Brown must stop marijuana banking to save others

Jennifer’s Messengers sounds alarm, supports drugged driving victims

We introduce a new website, Jennifer’s Messengers,  to honor Jennifer, and to bring to light marijuana driving dangers.  A recent study estimated 6800 more deaths per year on our roads if marijuana is federally legalized.

Jennifer’s Messengers takes its name from Jennifer Hrobuchak, who was killed by a driver high on medical marijuana.  It happened on July 24, 2012, and nine years later, the pain is still strong. 

When people say legalizing marijuana is freedom, think of Jennifer and her family. Where’s her freedom? Where’s her mother’s freedom?  Is she free to call her daughter on the phone? Is she free to see that daughter who would be 31 now?  No, that freedom was taken away by a man who was stoned. He violently killed Jennifer and only got a slap on the wrist, spending less than 2 years in jail. Continue reading Jennifer’s Messengers sounds alarm, supports drugged driving victims