The Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Car Accidents In Las Vegas

Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys
Potential Las Vegas car accidents
Contact us if injured in one of the drug related Las Vegas car accidents.

Since November 2016, both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Nevada for individuals 21 and older. In the fix six months of legalization, dispensaries have sold upwards of $195 million in product. Safe to say, this industry isn’t slowing anytime soon. However, it presents a new slew of issues, the main one being  Las Vegas car accidents while under the influence.

With the legalization, police have needed a way to determine if someone is too stoned to drive. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Nevada. Punishments include fines, community service and even jail. Law enforcement officers determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana by administering a blood test, which does not indicate when consumption occured. Currently, there is no quick breathalyzer equal for weed which means involvement in Las Vegas car accidents while under the influence becomes harder to prove.

Las Vegas Car Accidents Post Legalization

A study from the Highway Loss Data Institute indicates an increase in collision claims reported to insurers in states approving recreational marijuana.

Nevada law treats driving while high the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. The threshold for marijuana in the blood, or THC, the chemical that produces the high, for other states is 5 ng/ml. Medical marijuana usually doesn’t exclude charges in an accident. Nevada cracks down a little harder on use, putting the legal limit at 2 ng/ml. While nicknamed Sin City, legislators try to keep the city safe.

Substance abuse specialists caution that driving while using marijuana either recreationally or medically significantly impairs one’s driving and could lead to frequent and more severe car accidents.


The effects on drivers include:

  • Slower reaction time, as well as slower speed and focus
  • Impaired perception of memory, movement, time and distance
  • Diminished coordination
  • Sleepiness

Notably, different marijuana products have different strengths, depending on how much THC is in the product. There are differences in the amount of time it takes to get high from smoking marijuana, versus eating it, which takes an hour or more to become high.

The firm is seeing an increase in accidents resulting from driving while under the influence. Driving while high in Las Vegas is dangerous. Marijuana should be used responsibly.

Please be safe. While our firm does not advocate use, please use ride sharing apps or taxis if you are going to get high.

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