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Marijuana Blamed For NASCAR Driver’s Death

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Reefer MadnessA very tragic thing happened in NASCAR recently when driver Kevin Ward Jr. was killed after he was hit by a car driven by another driver, Tony Stewart. The facts are that Kevin Ward Jr. got out of his car in the middle of a race to confront Tony Stewart, and Tony Stewart’s car struck Kevin Ward Jr., killing him in the process. After an investigation was conducted, a grand jury decided to not press charges against Tony Stewart. Mainstream media, and the district attorney overseeing the investigation, used the tragedy as an opportunity to blame marijuana. Per USA Today:

Toxicology reports revealed Kevin Ward Jr., was under the influence of marijuana on the night he was struck and killed by a sprint car driven by Tony Stewart, Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Wednesday.

At a news conference to announce that a grand jury had declined to indict Stewart in Ward’s death, Tantillo said the level of marijuana in Ward’s system was high enough to impair judgment.

The exact level of marijuana in Ward’s system is not known, and never may be known. But regardless, I think it’s safe to say that marijuana was not to blame for this tragedy. I have consumed A LOT of marijuana in my time on this earth, and have been VERY high many, many times. However, not once have I jumped out in front of a car moving over 100 MPH in an aggressive fashion. According to reports, Tony Stewart revved his engine while other cars were breaking. But is he to blame? Of course not, because Mr. Ward had marijuana in his system, and despite no proof of when that marijuana entered his system, marijuana is to blame. What a sad, sad scenario on so many levels. My heart goes out to Kevin Ward Jr.’s family, who has to deal with the fact that their family member’s death is being ruled as being his own fault for consuming marijuana.

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Johnny Green

63 Comments

  1. Tony Stewart wanted to scare Kevin Ward by getting close and revving the motor. He got too close and ran Mr. Ward over. Marijuana had nothing to do with the accident.

  2. You’re all jealous because you don’t make what Tony Stewart makes. A tragedy happened. A jury made their decision not to charge Tony Stewart. Let Kevin Ward Jr rest in peace. All I have to say is that if me. Ward stayed in his car, he would most likely be out there racing today. He made his own mind up of what he was going to do. Now he has paid for his own death and every one has to live with it. No one can change any thing. Let this shit go.

  3. Tony Stuart had a reputation as a hothead. Immediately after he hit this other guy, there was speculation that it was deliberate… i.e. that it was murder. The truth is, he was a champion race car driver, who knew exactly how his car handled. It’s hard to believe he let the tail of his car swing out accidentally.

    Yes, the “influence” marijuana has on most drivers is to drive more carefully and safely, which is about diametrically opposite to the effect of alcohol. Marijuana does NOT cause accidents on the road, and it is not likely to cause them on the race track, either.

  4. There is no evidence whatsoever that he “misused it.” The only evidence is that sometime in the previous weeks, he USED marijuana.

    And yes, marijuana affects your ability to drive, i.e. … it IMPROVES it!

    If Tony Stuart was driving stoned, it’s because he knew that, too.

  5. As virtually everyone here knows, that he had THC (or more likely THC metabolites) in his system tells us NOTHING about whether he was high, and EVEN less about whether he was impaired. He was a professional race car driver, renouned for his driving skill. Who in their right mind thinks he drove while impaired? Who seriously thinks he prevailed over all other drivers, in almost every race he entered, WHILE IMPAIRED? Even if he did drive somewhat impaired (highly unlikely), his “impaired” compares favorably to other race car driver’s “NOT impaired,” because he won most of the races he entered, which is to say by any reasonable standard he was NOT impaired.

    Tony Stuart was an expert driver, who knew EXACTLY how his race car handled. He is also known to have a hot temper. He is under investigation for possibly having hit that other guy DELIBERATELY. It can be no big surprise that he would, if he could, try to blame his fatal misadventure on pot. It has happened before!

  6. it’s not the marijuana’s fault that he misused it, any more than it’s the alcohol’s fault when a drunk driver kills someone. It’s the person’s fault, for not showing good judgement. Yes, marijuana affects your ability to drive. Have some sense!

  7. He also had youth, testosterone, adrenaline, and anger in his system, all of which are known to make people behave irrationally. Cannabis tends to mellow out most consumers.

  8. Fist off this was not a NASCAR sanctioned event NASCAR has no involvement at all in this type of racing.Tony Stewart’s life is racing while NASCAR pays the bills the dirt track Spint cars, not related to NASCAR Spint Cup Series, Tony races them races for fun.This was nothing more than a tragic accident that claimed the life of a promising young race car driver and one that Tony has to live with for the rest of his life.If it would have been any other driver that hit Kevin Ward Jr this circus would of never happened.Simply put Kevin Ward Jr should of never got out of that car.

  9. nooo. getting out of your car on a race track before it is safe to taunt other drivers is what needs to be blamed. That mixed with Tony Stewarts actions led to the death, not either or, but both. I my blood is 100 times more potent than that kids ever was and i Know not to go Charging into incoming race car traffic! dumb is dumb. Pot lets you sit back and think about it more.

  10. it’s a scamcoverup..the rich get away with murder, and then the govt blames it away on what they want to blame..mebbe it was George Bush?

  11. I suspect it wasn’t the cannabis but rather his inability to control his anger. had he actually been smoking that day he may have stayed in his car and still be here today.

  12. no Mr Ward was not a NASCAR driver but Mr. Stewart is. I have no idea if they piss test on little dirt tracks but it doubt it.

  13. Am I reading this wrong? I don’t read that Johnny Green implies Stewart was at fault. I read sarcasm in – ” Of course not, because Mr. Ward had marijuana in his system, and despite no proof of when that marijuana entered his system, marijuana is to blame. What a sad, sad scenario on so many levels.” –

    I think he’s commenting on the fact the media (USA Today) and the judicial systems are typically moronic in this and many other incidents. Marijuana generally suppresses the type of rage displayed by Ward. I’d like to know what other substances were found in his system. And what kind of diagnosis may have been attached to his “hothead” behavior.

  14. Exactly, From the video I just seen, Clearly shows the other drivers turn to the left to avoid Mr Ward. Yet Tony car was turning to the right. So yeah that is American Justice at its best. At any level there should of been a flag due to the fact there was a disabled car and that should of put other racers on alert for possible rescue crews on there way.

  15. You’re right. It was a dirt track SPRINT CAR race. These little cars run on motorcycle engines but literally FLY around a smaller dirt track so fast that the “wing” on top of the car is the only thing holding it on the track. Flipping these little cars right out of the track is not uncommon. What the fuck was a high dollar Nascar driver with a history of getting out of his own car during races, throwing helmets and generally all-around agressive (bumping) driving behavior doing in a hugely dangerous race like this?! I can’t believe his insurance company even allowed this. They don’t let NFL players even ride motorcycles. And its no wonder Kevin Ward had a problem with him. He knew he was an A-hole. Maybe if he had been high (and had not just smoked pot within the last month) he wouldn’t have compulsively jumped out of his car in a rage. And I’ll kiss yer ass if Kevin Ward smoked up before the race. There’s no way a professional driver would do anything to impair their reaction time before going out on the track for one of these races where split second decisions mean the difference between winning or literally losing the race or your life.

  16. Yup, I get it–in fact, the story says most were trying to stop. My point, snarky as it may be, is that they were braking, not breaking.

  17. Okay, I made my other post before I read this one… Must have been one heck of a feud. A tragedy all around.

  18. It can’t just be about the race, can it? I mean, did this other driver mess around with his wife or something? This story just doesn’t make sense…

  19. apparently they had a sort of feud before the race, and I also read a Facebook post from one of Ward’s aunts in which she recognized that Ward was a hothead, but she still blamed Stewart. It was a tragic accident that could have been prevented if Ward hadn’t let his anger and rage get the best of him.

  20. I didn’t want to watch the video, but I did, and you’re right. It was not Mr. Stewart’s fault. I can’t imagine why Mr. Ward was so angry — is he fairly new to racing?

  21. Good to know, thanks. But was Mr. Ward a NASCAR driver? Was he tested the week before the race, prior to, or only after his tragic death?

  22. We don’t need to blame it on alcohol either… There’s a reason the term “road rage” was coined in America. (I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems true.)

  23. Exactly my point. It wasn’t the weed, he was just so stupid that he let his rage make him do something tragically stupid.

  24. Implying that it was Stewart’s fault is not helping your argument. I don’t think that he was high when driving and, even if he had been, I don’t think that it was relevant. The kid just got out of his car because he clearly had a personal issue that he needed to deal with, and he was such a moron that he let his anger get the best of him enough to impair his judgment to the point that he got out of a car in a dark part of a NASCAR fucking track while wearing black and lunged himself at the Stewart’s car because he was THAT pissed off. I had never even seen a NASCAR race until I saw that video, the kid was clearly so emotional that he tragically yet stupidly caused his own death. Weed doesn’t do that to you, even if he had been smoking while driving! But implying that it’s Stewart’s fault doesn’t quite hit the target either.

  25. Captain Obvious on

    Did he have any alcohol in the last 30 days too? People die in car crashes? Shocker. The fact that no numbers exist to substantiate the claim he was “high enough to impair judgement” says it all.

  26. The closest would be the active THC tests, but even those don’t really accurately calculate impairment.

  27. Tony Stewart $$$$ bought “justice”. Like OJ all over again.
    Tony Stewart will pay, eventually.

  28. I don’t know why this is being reported as a NASCAR drivers death. This death did not occur at a NASCAR event. Tony Stewart was a guest driver at a short track oval race. One of those races where they drive those funny looking cars with the big wings on top. This was not a NASCAR sanctioned race.

  29. NASCAR drivers are subjected to drug tests every week , I can assure you there was nothing in Tony’s system. I know this to be true on the drug testing because I lived near and knew several NASCAR drivers personally. I would also like to know if there was alcohol in his system. the behavior doesn’t fit the supposed drug.

  30. I don’t know what your experience with cannabis is but not everyone “wouldn’t have made it around the track without pulling over for a nap.” getting off the couch is a challenge only if you have a predisposition for laziness. I smoke all day every day and I have no problem getting off the couch on the contrary I hardly sit down for more than 15 minutes at a time and only to rest my feet. and I’m up and going again.
    but I do think this is a bunch of crap that they are blaming cannabis in his system for what he did. most people I know when they are high take more care and don’t do unreasonable and unsafe shit. anyone who is opposed to it is going to say it was the fault of cannabis in his system, just to try and discredit it. how do we know he didn’t have alcohol in his system also? that sort of behavior points more to drinking over smoking.

  31. this is such bullshit, marijuana was not the cause. everyone knows that it stays in your system up to 45 days. shame on you nascar

  32. This has to be bogus. Getting off the couch is a challenge, but climbing out of a race car just is going to happen. If he was loaded he wouldn’t have made it around the track one time without pulling over for a nap! The officials didn’t mention whether or not they questioned his pit crew, and they would have definitely noticed something out of whack if he was really impaired.

  33. I don’t know whether the cars were breaking, but I would hope, given a person on the track, they were braking.

  34. This is preposterous.
    I’m going to speculate that there is close to zero chance he was actually high or had any active THC (Hydroxy) in his system. Probably the kid had smoked the day or the week before, and the testing couldn’t tell the difference between hydroxy and carboxy.
    If, he was actually high enough that it impaired his judgement enough to jump out on the track, I don’t see how he could have been racing competitively in the first place.
    The story just doesn’t add up.

  35. Even without marijuana in hos system he is still to blame! It takes a very, VERY special kind of stupid to get out of a sprint car ON the track while other cars are still MOVING. Not to mention the fact he JUMPED at Tony’s car while wearing all BLACK while its DARK outside! Granted there are lights on the tracks, but its hard for those drivers to see whats happening until it is in front of them.

  36. That is the stupidest claim yet against marijuana. If he consumed enough to “impair judgement” I bet many here have consumed enough to “be of the same mental capacity as the president”.

  37. Soooo, Marijuana makes people jump in front of racing cars? Gee, I never knew that. Seems a lot of people I’ve known for years never jumped in front of cars. I think the Grand Jury might have been drinking to make such a determination. I know drinking impairs judgement but Marijuana making people jump in front of race cars, I’ve never heard of or seen that. (-_-)\

  38. “Tantillo said the level of marijuana in Ward’s system was high enough to impair judgment”. Well what was the level? Let us make our own decision on this instead of making it for us. If anyone knows the level that was found please post it here and thanks.

  39. The grand jury needs to release the amount of marijuana found in his system to back up their claim that he was “impaired”. Of course we know they wont do that because there is no number that indicates impairment. The only thing they can proved is that he used it within the last 30 days or so. This issue needs to be addressed publicly and loudly for both Kevin Ward’s family and to educate the public on so called cannabis testing and what it indicates!

  40. Those cars litterally race out of control the entire time. The drivers are fighting not to crash every second of every lap. NASCAR has an upper threshold for Tylenol in its drug tests. They do this because any type of miscalculation caused by anything, alcohol, marijuana, crack, etc. carries a potential of killing drivers or spectators. These drivers are exected to be sober as a judge.

  41. His death is his own fault simply because in his anger he jumped out of his vehicle and onto the track…Period. Tony Stewart didn’t go after him, he went right at Stewart’s car. Whether or not the marijuana in his system attributed to his behavior is something none of us will ever know. You cannot base your argument on the fact that you have never behaved in the same manner when you were high as Kevin did that night. I’m going to hazard a guess that you have never driven in a Sprint Car race….let alone driven in one stoned. Simple Truth is Ward was pissed, jumped out of his car onto the track to go after Stewart. If he had not done so he would not have been killed.

  42. “Tantillo said the level of marijuana in Ward’s system was high enough to impair judgment.”

    Since cannabis affects everyone differently, I don’t see how anyone could determine his judgement was impaired due to THC. Did Mr. Ward show any other signs, before or during the race, that would suggest he was under the influence of anything? Was THC the only thing found in his system?

    And was Mr. Stewart tested also? Were there any stimulants (or maybe even steroids) in Mr. Stewart’s system?

  43. Under the influence? How? If you smoked it two days or three weeks before that moment in that race, the toxicology will show it “has been” in his system. So, how do you know exactly when he consumed it? Think rationally if you are able to.

  44. The young man who died obviously did not jump out in front of speeding cars, in the middle of a race track, because of marijuana. But, just because marijuana was found in his system, the person who struck him will not be held responsible, even if this person is only partly to blame.

    I don’t know what caused this behavior, but I’ve known a few race car drivers in my time, and I’d say that testosterone and adrenalin were to blame. And if that’s true, those two chemicals would have easily wiped out any lingering effects of cannabis consumption.

  45. Since there is no way to know whether he was under the influence: studies show that even light consumers can have the compounds in their bodies, that the tests look for, for up to a week. The effects of cannabis are temporary and short. So, how can someone be considered under the influence if they consumed cannabis a week earlier. Answer, they can not. This can only mean that this entire story is yey another Reefer Madness gimmick to shock and alarm the public and also because prohibitionists were tired of losing arguments with the fact that no one has EVER died due to cannabis use.

  46. No one cares how much marijuana you have smoked. And no one said it happened because he smoked marijuana, but if you are going to drive a race car you should Not be under the influence.

  47. Is there even a test to determine that you are under the influence at the time? I thought all they could tell was that you had it in your system as long as thirty days ago.

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