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One Thing Is Clear From THC/D.U.I. Discussion: Marijuana Prohibitionists Are Not Bothered By Facts

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thc dui driving marijuana cannabis nanogramsBy Badweather

“There’s only one thing worse than being talked about. Not being talked about.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Why is driving while stoned even an issue? You smoke, you fall asleep, when you wake up you drive. Unless…

HB 13-1114, I call it the Dirty f*cking hippies don’t get to drive anymore law, basically it says that if you choose marijuana as medicine or as recreation on a daily basis you will never drive again, ever. Disclosure: I’m a dirty hippie.

In some cases, if HB13-1114 actually becomes law, it may be the equivalent of permanent in home arrest for many medical marijuana patients as well as recreational users that use more than once per month. Smoking a bit of cannabis on the weekends could conceivably prevent you from operating heavy equipment for the better part of the beginning of each week.

But why?

We already have a procedure, it’s called being careful until you know how your medication effects your ability to operate heavy machinery, and that includes the operation of any state legislature, arguably a very large and particularly dangerous piece of machinery.

I’ve got an idea, how about requiring that any politician that purports to legislate any marijuana legislation be required by Colorado State law to do their homework. First thing, you must smoke a joint. If you can still remember what you were doing after that, by all means proceed to eat the brownie. No, not that one, this one….

Any questions?:

Maybe we should measure political wit in nano-grams.

It is also an unnecessary measure by just about any stretch of the imagination but never mind the facts, we’ve got to protect alcohol and prohibition of marijuana.

Nevermind that the road fatalities were reduced by 19% (among 20 year olds) in states that legalized medical marijuana, probably because less people drank because marijuana is safer, doesn’t cause a hangover, and doesn’t cause road fatalities itself. So, never mind that marijuana is safer for our children…

From the Denver Post:

The study — by University of Colorado Denver professor Daniel Rees and Montana State University professor D. Mark Anderson — found that the traffic-death rate drops by nearly 9 percent in states after they legalize marijuana for medical use. The researchers arrived at that figure, Rees said, after controlling for other variables such as changes in traffic laws, seat-belt usage and miles driven. The study stops short of saying the medical-marijuana laws cause the drop in traffic deaths.

“We were pretty surprised that they went down,” Rees said Tuesday.

The study was posted this month on the website of the Bonn, Germany- based Institute for the Study of Labor and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Rees said the main reason for the drop appears to be that medical-marijuana laws mean young people spend less time drinking and more time smoking cannabis. Legalization of medical marijuana, the researchers report, is associated with a 12-percent drop in the alcohol-related fatal-crash rate and a 19-percent decrease in the fatality rate of people in their 20s, according to the study.

Furthermore:

The study also found that medical- marijuana legalization is associated with a drop in beer sales.

“The result that comes through again and again and again is (that) young adults . . . drink less when marijuana is legalized and traffic fatalities go down,” Rees said.

The study is sure to add fuel to a debate over the impacts of Colorado’s medical-marijuana boom on traffic safety, which has embroiled cannabis advocates and law enforcement officials for more than a year.

From DenverPost.com

Meanwhile at the Colorado State Legislature…

*** crickets ***

The key thing here is that drunk drivers always underestimate how drunk they are, while marijuana smokers generally either overestimate or accurately estimate, how stoned they are.

So, the idea that driving while stoned is actually dangerous in comparison to drinking alcohol, if you compare the two, they are as different as apples and oranges as the saying goes.

But we want to pretend some more I suppose.

But the truth is… wait for it… Marijuana is the smart choice when it comes to recreational drugs.

And that brings me to another point, it’s ok to do recreational drugs. The illegality of marijuana has just prevented what just so happens to be the safest drug known to mankind from being the drug of choice we all prefer.

So now that we all know the truth, you’ll be havin’ to get over your prohibition and the best medicine I can offer you, as a politician who has made their living bashing dirty hippies all their lives, you may have a rude awakening coming up sometime in the future, you might want to sit down and smoke a joint. We’ve been right all along, it’s safe, it’s ok to be a stoner, and yeah, you can drive more safely under the influence of marijuana, millions of people do it all the time. With either oxy’s or doobies, either way, it’s ok. Just be careful.

Of course politicians, high on the war on drugs, may think differently about these things:

No one that smokes marijuana regularly can drive anymore if HB 13-1114 passes in the Colorado state legislature. That’s right, instead of being happy about one of the results of legalizing medical marijuana, the lower number of 20 year old kids killed in traffic fatalities, they feel the need to penalize otherwise responsible adults for their use of cannabis.

Ok.

Fine, I don’t really like driving anyway, I mean, even though the commercials do portray driving as this quintessential American thing that we all love doing, we mostly hate it anyway so screw it, admit you hate doing it, and stop because it’s illegal to be you. You pot smoking dirty f*cking hippie!

And if my choice is either drive or take my medicine, I’ll just not drive. I’d rather be pain free. Hanging out with a bunch of drunk losers is lame anyway right?

But this is a bit like saying, people that smoke marijuana aren’t really people.

I’ve watched my people be marginalized for 40 years now.

Piss tested out of the work place.

Now about to be piss tested off the road.

All for the lies about not just a plant but the safest, most therapeutic medicine ever discovered by mankind.

A plant that causes mothers who smoke it to be 50% less likely to lose their babies to either stillbirth, miscarriage, or SIDS in the first two years of life. (which I think is totally worth not driving for btw)

A plant which makes drivers go slower, not faster.

A plant that people know they’re high on, unlike alcohol which makes you feel “godlike” somewhere around 5 beers or so…

Marijuana, a plant which cures cancer instead of causing it like alcohol and tobacco, should be marginalized, after all, the profits of CEO’s in the “health care industry” will plummet in a hemp economy based on the safest, most therapeutic plant ever discovered by mankind. Certainly we should marginalize the people that spent their lives cultivating it and selling it to patients that needed it.

Certainly we should penalize those people who choose a natural herb, one actually less toxic than tomatoes, to treat their illnesses, and cure their diseases and prevent their cancers.

Marijuana users should clearly be marginalized to death or at the very least total ostricization and character assassination. It should be obvious to everyone, that anyone who chooses to use the safest medicine ever, should be marginalized, beaten down, and told every day they really don’t rate the level of human being, quite…

Why not just kill us all? Oh that’s right, you are. With GMO’s we don’t have a right to know about, I see the pattern. Not knowing is better than knowing. Clearly…

Here’s what I do know.

I’ve driven while high on marijuana most of my life. It’s like the label says, be careful until you know how it effects you’re ability to operate heavy machinery.

It’s just like Oxycodone, you should be careful until you know how it affects you. If you can’t drive, marijuana is not a drug that will hide that from you like alcohol does. When you’re stoned, you don’t even want to drive. But if you need to you can.

The zero tolerance, for science and the vindictive legislation that makes virtual home bound prisoners of a person who chooses to use marijuana as their medicine is draconian to say the least. But I’m going to make a prediction:

This will backfire on them.

For one thing, walking and riding my bike is already my choice of transportation so if the legislature is attempting to turn us all into dirty hippies, they’re doing it right. We don’t care about your silly cars anyway…

So, Thanks. I think….

Source: HempSaves.Net

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  • It’s an amazing piece of writing in support of all the web users; they will
    obtain benefit from it I am sure.

  • Wayne Phillips
  • Wayne Phillips
  • marijuana doesn’t “cure” cancer. Uninformed wild exagerations by people on the 420 side are just as harmful as on the other side. Don’t do that. We all love our weed and it has enough benifits that lying about it is not really necesary and doesn’t serve our cause

  • bearfoot33

    except ay a g*damned UNamerican road block!

  • There is more money for the politicians personally in keeping mj illegal, or highly controlled by disallowing driving for the recreational, or medical user. Reason: lobbyists. Lobbyists from the pharmaceutical companies that want to keep peddling their poisonous and ofter dangerous drugs that they create on a regular basis. So often so that doctors don’t really even know anything about them when they prescribe.
    Mj would seriously undermine the need and therefore the sales of pharmaceuticals. Those big companies would start losing money, no one would want to try their ‘new’ and often barely tested drugs, and the doctors would have to stop saying ‘Here, try this and see what it does.’ So that would also mean less campaign funds and special favors for the politicians…those PUBLIC servants that now only seem to serve themselves.

  • badweatherrr

    it’s a performance enhancing drug.

    I play better music on my guitar when I’m stoned, I navigate the difficult passages of chords while stoned more deftly than I ever could while straight.

    That initial wow, from a different sac will occasionally sit you back for the first few minutes but after that trippiness is waning it’s all hyper-vigilance from there on out.

    For me I think it’s more dependent upon whether or not it’s an indica or sativa. Sleepy time and driving is not good and that is more likely to lead on to nap time. So it’s just this so totally different thing, it’s more responsible as a molecule in your body biologically and it makes you crash and you know when it’s time to sleep. Nice, I think.

    Alcohol is the rogue among the drugs though, nothing quite so violent or with such predictably clear dose dependent performance degrading qualities…

  • badweatherrr

    Actually, they are perfectly pertinent to the conversation. Note in particular: “No similar phenomenon is known for alcohol.”

    This doesn’t change the fact that there are people that test high yet are not driving in a dangerous manner. In other words, the impairment can not be shown to be dose dependent across a wide swath of the population. In fact great variance has been observed and noted, and why I pointed it out.

    And then there is the whole invasive nature of requiring a person to report to a hospital or demanding a blood sample on the spot, or being taken into custody for the duration until a blood sample can be drawn. Sounds like police state tactics to me. Regardless of the idea that people that are at levels greater than 5 ng’s were almost seven times more likely to be at fault in a traffic accident, you still have to account for the actually large enough number of people who will be negatively impacted by this law who do not deserve to be unnecessarily demonized or stigmatized by the law.

    In fact, I think that it would be pretty easy to see, given a 5 ng limit that any person who needed marijuana is going to use it on a daily basis, will have a narrow window of opportunity to drive, and that will be the most painful part of the day, the part that is required by the state if you’re to remain active, basically forcing you to make a choice between driving, and medicating.

    Clearly this is unfair.

    If we were talking opiates, this isn’t an issue. Which is why I keep bringing it up. We have a procedure in place for people that medicate, the stance the political class is taking with THC is entirely politically motivated, wrong headed, and again, wouldn’t be happening if it was opiates we were talking about. Driving erratically under the influence of any drug is already illegal. The limits we have set for alcohol are there because they are actually involved a lot in traffic fatalities. Which legalizing marijuana reduces overall, a net gain for those looking for reduction in fatalities.

    It does appear that there may be something wrong with the assumption that THC is as bad as Alcohol when combined with driving. The conversion of “seven times more likely to be at fault in a traffic accident” and how that correlates to actual traffic fatalities is also unclear. It could be something as simple as, stoners had more fender benders, while alcohol the majority of deaths as a result, this could be why states that legalize medical marijuana see significant reductions in traffic fatalities.

    according to the article:

    Numerous accident studies have confirmed that marijuana is not a major risk factor in driving fatalities. A recent meta-analysis of 42 different studies on cannabis and driving concluded that the odds of a fatal accident due to cannabis use are only 1.25 times normal, significantly less than many other risks such as age, gender, and alcohol use [Elvik]. The study found higher fatal accident odds for opiates (1.44), benzodiazepine tranquilizers (2.30), anti-depressants (1.32), cocaine (2.96), amphetamines (4.46) and the sleeping aid zopiclone (2.60). Alcohol wasn’t included, but has elsewhere been calculated at 2 to 6, depending on blood level.

    As shown in the fourth column of Table 2, drivers with high blood alcohol levels (above the standard legal limits of .08% or .10%) showed consistenly high culpability ratios, on the order of 5 or 6. In contrast, drivers with THC present in their blood rarely exceeded 2, and in several cases were less than 1 – indicating they were actually safer than drug free drivers! This phenomenon has been explained by the fact that marijuana-using drivers tend to slow down, while alcohol-using drivers tend to speed.

    In other words, not dose dependent like alcohol, less dangerous,

    Why we treat alcohol differently is the fact that it is more commonly associated with fatality and the tendency drivers have of being safer under the influence of marijuana.

    Why we should treat it differently is because it has legitimate medical uses.

    The 5 ng limit unnecessarily stigmatizes medical users and daily recreational users.

    THC is the only drug that has some people performing better at driving while stoned than even straight people can. So performance enhancing, maybe…

  • greengirl

    “Unlike urine tests, blood tests detect the active presence of THC in the bloodstream. In the case of smoked marijuana, THC peaks rapidly in the first few minutes after inhaling, often to levels above 100 ng/ml in blood plasma. It then declines quickly to single-digit levels within an hour. High THC levels are therefore a good indication that the subject has smoked marijuana recently. ”
    Your selective quotations are exceptions, not typical cases and therefore not pertinent to the conversation. this law is aimed at establishing a standardized limit. As to the correlation between blood THC levels and culpability in automobile accidents. The row for Australia (Drummer et al. 2004) in table two is perhaps the best evidence in support of this, it shows that drivers who were in accidents and had THC levels greater than 5 ng were almost seven times more likely to be at fault in a traffic accident than someone whose levels were lower. those levels are very similar to individuals with a BAC over 0.08.

  • greengirl

    there has been research done to establish this limit, California’s branch of NORML posted a meta-study with the relevant data. The link is in my previous post but to sum it up, at the 5 ng level, people exhibit as much impairment as someone with a BAC of 0.05, impaired, but no intoxicated. The 5 ng level is typically reached within hours after smoking.

  • badweatherrr

    The doc you shared disagrees, there is no scientific evidence to support a 5 nanogram limit on THC:

    Although high blood THC is a fairly good indicator of being under the
    influence, it is not infallible. Chronic users who develop tolerance to
    THC may in some cases drive safely with very high blood levels of THC.
    In one study, a subject with severe attention deficit disorder could not
    pass a driving test while straight, but performed well with a blood
    level of 71 ng/ml [Strohbeck-Kühner]. No similar phenomenon is known for
    alcohol.

    So, the science, of the doc you suggested had answers. It does have answers, but not the ones they want to hear?

    couldn’t drive until he was 14.2 times the proposed THC limit… hmmmm

    The answer is, THC isn’t like alcohol at all, and that’s because it is a medicine that in some cases makes people who are normally unable to drive, able to drive.

  • badweatherrr

    They can’t stop this now.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana/2013/03/25/can-the-feds-hold-back-the-tide-of-legal-marijuana-even-if-they-want/

    There will be a referendum on marijuana at the federal level in 2016 as the over 65 crowd wanes and the 18 year old’s come into power. Guess what, weed wins.

    Though the outcome is still unclear, it does look like prohibition in general is on the chopping block since the laws cause more harm than any of the drugs themselves.

  • Johnny oneye

    18 states have some sort of cannabis laws, Every state that votes in MMJ goes through the same shit , all the nay voters .
    Legal/illegal either way , these people need to resign if they cant respect the will of the voters! Maybe they didnt get the MEMO
    WE ARE TIRED OF YOUR DRUG LAWS
    especially “MArijuana prohibition”
    Hers is the best part ::they cant afford it anymore!

  • Johnny oneye

    1 st they gotta catch me! they give out tickets for no lights
    driving on the sidewalk , going the wrong way
    just another way of relieving you of any excess funds you might be saving!

  • Someone needs to ask where the 5ng/ml (5 parts per billion) THC limit
    came from. was there an independent study that showed this was the threshold of motor skill impairment? or did the bill’s authors: Mark Waller and Steve King, pull that number out of their hat?
    in the past THC detection limits were set at 50ng/ml (50 parts per billion), so why is this limit now 10 times stricter than in the past?
    Maybe Waller/King should explain their rationale or be voted out of office next term.

  • Guest

    someone needs to ask where the 5ng/ml (5 parts per billion) THC limit
    came from. was there an independent study that showed this was the threshold of motor skill impairment? or did the bill’s authors: Mark Waller and Steve King, pull that number out of their hat?
    in the past THC detection limits were set at 50ng/ml (50 parts per billion), so why has this limit now 10 times stricter than in the past?
    Maybe Waller/King should explain their rationale or be voted out of office next term.

  • greengirl

    I love lighting up as much as the next hippie, but you have your facts wrong. There is scientific evidence to support this legislation. Before you let loose with a knee jerk tirade because some state is trying to pass a law that will give LEOs a definitive guideline for what constitutes driving under the influence, check the research behind it. Without a quantitative test, the police get to decide if they feel you are impaired or the state can go with a zero tolerance policy, which would be much worse.

    http://www.canorml.org/healthfacts/drugtestguide/drugtestdetection.html

  • badweatherrr

    I never ever once suggested a comparison between oxy’s and marijuana in this article.

    I’m just saying we already have a way of dealing with medical use drugs and driving on them, in the case of oxycodone, which it is now perfectly ok to drive under the influence of, it having legitimate medical uses, and if it’s ok to drive on oxy’s then it certainly should be ok to drive on marijuana. I never suggested they’re similar, or argue in favor of one or the other. I assume you can make you your own mind about that. I’m just saying the rules that govern oxy’s (a considerably more dangerous drug) could be used to end the debate. We treat alcohol like the evil that it is because it is actually bad for you, has zero medical uses, is really a toxin, causes cancer, and is involved in the lions share of traffic fatalities.

  • Well said!

  • When called for jury duty on a case concerning a drug violation with no overt act of violence, do not convict! If the offender is non-violent, do not send them to prison! Another person in a federal or state prison for drugs is not going to make society any better or our families any safer, in fact, it WILL do the exact opposite.

    * It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.

    * You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention, ether before or after taking your seat on a jury.

    * You are also not required to give a reason to your fellow jurors on your position when voting—simply state that you find the accused not guilty.

    * Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. It is of no consequence If the Judge or the other jurors disapprove; there is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

    We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for: Please Vote To Acquit!

  • badweatherrr

    uh-huh, the bicycle is a great way of slipping through the cracks in the matrix no doubt!

  • badweatherrr

    no, it’s about continuing to oppress the weed heads who have been their cash cow for so many years.