Drivers high on marijuana represent an unrecognized crisis, experts tell the Los Angeles Times. A 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), based on blood, breath and saliva tests collected on weekends from drivers in 300 locations nationally, found that 16.3 percent of drivers at night were impaired from legal or illegal drugs, including 9 percent of drivers who had detectable traces of marijuana in their system.
The article notes that in California, almost 1,000 deaths and injuries annually are due to drugged drivers. Law enforcement officials point to the increased use of medical marijuana as part of the problem. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the newspaper, “Marijuana is a significant and important contributing factor in a growing number of fatal accidents. There is no question, not only from the data but from what I have heard in my career as a law enforcement officer.”