Report Scans Marijuana Legalization’s Impacts on Impaired Driving Systems

Resource Type
News Releases

June 26, 2017

Contact: Kara Macek,
202-789-0942 x140

Law enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, and toxicology among areas examined


NCREP CoverWASHINGTON, D.C. – The legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use at the state level has the potential to have downstream effects on the entire impaired driving system. In its first completed research project, the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP) convened a group of national experts, representing states that had enacted such laws, to discuss these consequences and identify issues for consideration by other states that may be considering the adoption of these laws.  NCREP is managed jointly by GHSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Impact of the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana on the DWI System is the culmination of these deliberations. It outlines key factors for consideration in seven topic areas: law enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, forensics, data, State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) and public outreach.

“As more states consider loosening their restrictions on marijuana, State Highway Safety Offices are looking for guidance on the potential impacts of these changes. This research project provides concrete recommendations from those who have already had to deal with the repercussions,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.

Key takeaways from the meeting include the following recommendations for states:

  • Craft new laws with provisions that are supportable by science
  • Provide appropriate training and education for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, probation and toxicology laboratory staff
  • Conduct public outreach and education as early as possible
  • Consider collaborating with the marijuana industry and criminal justice system

Download a copy of the report at GHSA maintains a list of marijuana-specific drug-impaired driving laws at

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.

About the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP)

Congress established the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP) to examine priority highway safety countermeasures. The program is jointly managed by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).