The Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Car Accidents in Chicago

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys
marijuana legalization on auto accident claims.
Contact the marijuana legal team if you were in an accident with an impaired driver.

While Illinois has not joined the recreational marijuana legalization bandwagon that Nevada and Colorado leads,  medical marijuana is legal. In 2016, the governor reduced the punishment significantly for possessing a small amount of pot. This could lead to more individuals obtaining marijuana or using it. One impact of the reduction in punishment could be a rise in the number of car accidents.

Marijuana Legalization

States have seen a significant increase in drug-related car accidents since marijuana legalization. High drivers are causing accidents, which can lead to an increase in deaths. If you are planning on enjoying the green relief, please be safe. Don’t drive impaired.

Additionally, the attitudes of society toward marijuana use have contributed to an increase in driving while high. Many feel that as marijuana use becomes more acceptable, more individuals do not see negative consequences in using while driving.

Illinois considers marijuana different than other narcotics for driving under the influence. It has to be in an individual’s blood level at a quantity similar to alcohol. In 2016, Illinois’ drugged driving law was modified.

The fact that the driver was allowed to use marijuana legally would not be a defense.

Substance abuse specialists caution that using marijuana either recreationally or medically impairs one’s driving.


Most noteworthy effects of weed on drivers include:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Impaired perception of time and distance
  • Diminished coordination
  • Sleepiness

Different marijuana products have different potencies, depending on how much THC is in the product. Additionally, there are differences between smoking marijuana, which gives an instant high, versus eating it, which results in a delayed effect.

Going forward, it could be harder for Chicago law enforcement to enforce Illinois’s drugged driving law, as there is no breathalyzer equivalent test for marijuana. It might be hard to discern if a driver is over the legal limit. But technology evolves as laws do. You can contact us today at 844-977-1900 if you have any questions about the ganja world.