For people over the age of 21, marijuana is legal to use under Massachusetts law.
When marijuana became legal, many people wondered how the change would affect OU/DUI and accident rates. Legal marijuana is treated similarly to alcohol when it comes to things like driving, operating heavy machinery, and personal injury cases.
Marijuana Use and Safety
Just like alcohol and other substances, legal or not, marijuana does impact a person’s decision-making abilities. Cannabis impairs a person’s reaction times and their ability to operate machinery. Massachusetts has passed a range of laws governing the legal use of cannabis to keep people safe.
For example, you can’t drive while under the influence of marijuana. It’s also illegal to have an open container of marijuana in a vehicle — unless it’s locked in the glove compartment or kept in the trunk.
Legal Marijuana Use and Car Accidents
Sure, marijuana is legal in Massachusetts. But that’s no defense in a personal injury lawsuit. If a person smokes a joint in his home and then gets behind the wheel to run errands and slams into another car at a stoplight, they might face charges for driving under the influence of marijuana, and a lawsuit for the injuries that he caused by his negligence. People who use marijuana have a duty of care to others when they drive a vehicle.
Marijuana users are encouraged to catch a ride with a friend, use ridesharing companies, or take public transportation if they’re under the influence. It’s perfectly legal (under Mass. law) to use marijuana, but it’s a crime to drive high.
Personal Injury Cases Involving Negligence and Legal Marijuana
Marijuana users can be deemed negligent and liable for personal injury in ways that don’t involve motor vehicles. For example, a person impaired by cannabis could forget to remove ice from their porch steps, and a delivery person falls and gets hurt. In a case like this, the injured party could sue for personal injury.
The bottom line is that negligence is a key part of determining liability in a personal injury case. It doesn’t matter if a person was high legally. If their legal marijuana use caused them to act negligently and hurt someone, then they’re responsible for the victim’s losses.
Need Legal Help? Contact Us.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving the negligent use of marijuana, we can help.
Eden Rafferty is one of the leading personal injury law firms in Worcester, Massachusetts. With over eight decades of collective experience, our attorneys focus on getting our clients the highest amount of compensation possible.
Your concerns regarding legal marijuana use, its impact on your personal injury case, finances, and well-being will be our top priorities. When you contact the law offices of Eden Rafferty, you’re guaranteed personalized service and a knowledgeable attorney who will go the distance to get you the money you deserve to put your life back together. Contact the law offices of Eden Rafferty for a free consultation today.