Marijuana's Risk To Drivers Debated CN By Dan Freedman November 29, 2013 Source: San Francisco Chronicle Washington -- As California advocates ponder a renewed push to legalize marijuana for adults, law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts are warning of a side effect of states allowing the drug for medical or recreational use: the danger caused by people driving while high. Research is incomplete on how much marijuana it takes to impair driving. But Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said being even a little intoxicated on marijuana is unacceptable. Read More... Cannabis use and Driving Do Medical-Marijuana Laws Save Lives on The Road? How High is Too High to Drive? by Russ Belville December 1, 2013 Re-printed from HIGH TIMES Dec 2013 Issue In travel all across the United States HIGH TIMES has encountered cannabis consumers who don’t just drive after toking, but drive while toking. While riding with them, nobody seems to feel in any danger but being seen by police. So why do some people who would never drive drunk feel entitled to smoke a joint behind the wheel? Ibuprofen Can Kill Pot Buzz, Research Reveals According to a new study performed on mice by researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and published in the Cell journal, chemicals in the over-the-counter painkiller allow the plant's therapeutic benefits to kick in with no buzz, no memory loss and no loss of motivation. "a-motivation [is] a cause of heavy marijuana smoking rather than the reverse" Dr. Andrew Weil (Rubin & Comitas Ganja in Jamaica, 1975) From The Natural Mind by Dr. Andrew Weil @JodieEmery Madness! “@itootill: How Canadians can be charged w/driving under influence of cannabis without ever smoking a joint http://natpo.st/18OloOd @ethannadelmann Drug Treatment Court: Forced Medical Care & Behavior Modification http://huff.to/1ervfdL A powerful critique by someone who saw it close up. Rackets Driven by this Drug War Eleven Ways the Drug War Raises Your Taxes and Shrinks Your Profits From radicalruss.com Driving * Drug Testing * Science driving. per se * DUID * zero tolerance Ass.Woman Torre' Drudged Driving Bill Are You Drunk Correa? CA SB 289 Clueless Legislation WTF's Up with New Mexico? Have they been annexed by Texas? Cops Spray Woman’s Vagina With Mace To “Punish” Her After Drug Arrest The Aʂʂhole Police Second Probe Raises Stink Drug War No More Is there a lone picture from the past 13 years that can illustrate 60,000 drug war deaths in Mexico in six years, and tens of thousands more in Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil? @radleybalko @jfclearywisc Study: Over-regulation of opioids leaves millions of cancer patients in pain that could be treated. Drug Policy Alliance @DrugPolicyNews Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs | Latin American nations call for treatment strategy http://ow.ly/rl15EVICE @VICE Cracks… This is a very positive sign… Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs Major international divisions over the global “war on drugs” have been revealed in a leaked draft of a UN document setting out the organisation’s long-term strategy for combating illicit narcotics. The draft, written in September and seen by the Observer, shows there are serious and entrenched divisions over the longstanding US-led policy promoting prohibition as an exclusive solution to the problem. Instead, a number of countries are pushing for the “war on drugs” to be seen in a different light, which places greater emphasis on treating drug consumption as a public health problem, rather than a criminal justice matter. It is rare for such a document to leak. Normally only the final agreed version is published once all differences between UN member states have been removed. What’s telling is not only the divisions in the early draft, but the fact that there was a leak. Usually, drug policy reps from countries want to show a united front to the world. Somebody was willing to cause a stir. And in reading the article, it’s fascinating that there quite a range of countries objecting to drug war business as usual for a number of reasons. Telling the truth about driving dangers This weekend, Rafael LeMaitre tweeted about a new Presidential proclamation, saying: POTUS: Impaired drivers involved in nearly 1/3 of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., taking almost 30 lives each day. Here is the actual Presidential Proclamation naming December as National Impaired-Driving Prevention Month. Note the same wording. Rafael’s quote of it would seem to indicate its importance in the document (perhaps he wrote it for the Prez). Impaired drivers are involved in nearly one-third of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, taking almost 30 lives each day. It seems to me that the average citizen, seeing that passage, would take it as reading that impaired drivers (including a variety of impairments such as alcohol and other drugs) were responsible for 30 deaths daily. But it’s not true. It’s quite likely that the referenced statistic comes from this governmental report (or a similar one): CDC – Impaired Driving Facts Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes. In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Wait a second! Note the use of the word “alcohol”? That wasn’t in the Presidential Proclamation. Of course not. The Proclamation was about impaired drivers of all kinds (particularly given this government’s attempts to push for harsher laws on cannabis and driving). The statistic was a compelling one, but didn’t fit their agenda, so they dropped the word “alcohol.” Interesting. It may still be technically accurate, but it’s a lie — an intentional effort to deceive the public in order to bolster their argument But let’s look a little further. If you go back to the source information from theNHTSA, you discover that their use of “impaired” is not the english language definition of the word, but rather an arbitrary political/legal definition. Drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatal crash involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher is considered to be an alcohol- impaired-driving crash, and fatalities occurring in those crashes are considered to be alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities. The term “driver” refers to the operator of any motor vehicle, including a motorcycle. Ah, so it was those drivers who were technically “impaired” by alcohol who caused those 30 deaths each day. Wait. Not so fast. The term “alcohol-impaired” does not indicate that a crash or a fatality was caused by alcohol impairment. Oh. Now we’re finally getting a picture of reality, although it’s clearly impossible to know how many people die because of impaired drivers. This, of course, doesn’t lend itself to a dramatically scary opening to a Presidential Proclamation, but why can’t we talk about having a month to make people aware of not driving impaired… without lying? This matters for a couple of important reasons: 1. The government works for the people. Lying to them is a serious violation of their Constitutional power and trust (and often their oath of office) and should be grounds for firing. 2. In some cases the lies are also designed to undermine the will of the people, as in the push for zero tolerance per se laws for cannabis and driving from the ONDCP. Those laws do absolutely nothing to make the roads safer, so it’s not a stretch to accuse the ONDCP of not caring a damn about road safety, but rather looking for another way to harm those who support cannabis. Kerlikowske does it again in this article: Marijuana’s risk to drivers debated Research is incomplete on how much marijuana it takes to impair driving. But Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said being even a little intoxicated on marijuana is unacceptable. “even a little intoxicated… is unacceptable” What does that mean? Where’s the science? Where’s the truth? And this kind of talk from the federal government emboldens local officials into really pulling the most bizarre stuff out of their ass. And in Washington, according to Chuck Hayes of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, tests confirming the presence in drivers of THC – marijuana’s active ingredient – have made up 42 percent of the state’s toxicology lab caseload this year, an increase from 26 percent last year. “I’m not sure the public really understands the danger of it,” said Hayes, a retired Oregon State Police captain who trains police officers to be drug-recognition experts. What danger? The danger of increased drug testing? ‘Cause that’s all you’ve shown. Meanwhile, the only reasonable science-based truthful words are coming from reformers: Marijuana advocates acknowledge that driving under the influence of cannabis is ill-advised. But they argue that law enforcement’s concern is overblown, and point to a 2012 study that concluded the auto accident risk posed by marijuana is on par with antihistamines and penicillin. But the government isn’t interested in telling the truth. They want to scare people into supporting their agenda. Nothing else matters. Now, I do a lot of driving and I’m right there in wanting to increase safety on the roads. But I want accurate information and scientific analysis of comparable dangers. And I think that it’s good to talk about the increased safety we’re already experiencing. Check out this amazing chart: Source: www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov That’s some incredible progress we’ve made, and we should celebrate that. I’m sure it comes from a variety of factors – safer roads, safer cars, better education, and others. Maybe we can do better. But we’ll do it through science and policy analysis, not through fear-mongering… or lying.