A spike in fatal car crashes in Kansas City has led police officials to point the finger at a convenient scapegoat: cannabis. At a recent presentation to the city’s Board of Police Commissioners, representatives of the Kansas Police Department noted that the number of fatal vehicular collisions for the year eclipsed 100 this month, an increase of 40% over last year.
Police officials added that 53% of fatal crashes “involved marijuana impairment or combination” with another intoxicant. In 2018, the figure was 25%. Officials also voiced concern over the launch of Missouri’s medical marijuana program as dispensaries begin to open in the state.
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“Marijuana use does seem to be at least related in part to fatal car crashes,” KCPD spokesman Capt. David Jackson told local media.
While the police department stopped short of definitively blaming marijuana for the increase in fatal vehicle collisions, the spike comes following significant reforms in cannabis policy in the area. In 2018, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced an end to prosecutions for some cannabis possession offenses after Missouri voters approved the medicinal use of marijuana by a margin of nearly two to one. And in