There has been an almost endless stream of heated back-and-forth in national media over the upcoming midterm elections. Sometimes overlooked in all the fury is the fact that Missouri voters will have three different medical marijuana proposals on their November ballots.

New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute will give voters something to ponder: car wrecks in states where recreational weed has been legalized are up 6 percent.

The Highway Loss Data Institute study said collision claims filed with insurance companies in Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Washington are on the rise. Claims in those four were compared to four states where weed remains illegal: Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.

The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at police reported accidents before and after legalization found a 5.2 percent bump up in Colorado, Oregon and Washington compared to neighboring states, USA Today reported.

“States exploring legalizing marijuana should consider this effect on highway safety,” said the president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute.

So far nine states have legalized marijuana: Colorado, California, Alaska, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon and Washington. The District of Columbia has also legalized weed. Michigan and North Dakota are about to vote on whether to legalize recreational use.

Missouri is one of several considering approval of medical marijuana.

While we don’t take positions on political issues in this space, we do offer the information for consideration before you cast your ballot next month.

Those injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by an impaired driver should contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.