UO prof's work cited in stories on new marijuana research

Ben Hansen

A new study on traffic deaths in states that legalized medicinal marijuana largely agrees with earlier work done by a UO economist, according to a story that was picked up by news outlets around the world.

The new research found that vehicle fatalities not only didn’t rise when pot was legalized for medical use, some states saw a significant decline. That’s what UO economics professor Benjamin Hansen found in his earlier study.

“Public safety doesn’t decrease with increased access to marijuana, rather it improves,” Hansen told Reuters Health when contacted about the new research. Hansen was not involved in the latest work, which was done by researchers at Columbia University.

But he cautioned that marijuana can impair driving and that the studies did not prove that marijuana was the cause of the drop in fatalities.

The story appeared widely, including on Business Insider, Fox News Health, Yahoo! News India and many other outlets. For the full story, see, “After states legalized medical marijuana, traffic deaths fell” in Reuters Health.