CNN may have just posted their best piece of investigative journalism in years. In the following video, three drivers of varying ages got incredibly high on marijuana and test-drove cars around a course. A driving-ed instructor accompanied them to avert any chance of an accident, and police watched from the sidelines to spot any visible ‘signs’ of inebriation in their movements.
The volunteers — a young daily smoker, adult weekend smoker and elder infrequent smoker — proceeded to test escalating levels of stupor against the new baseline ‘legal limit’ in Washington state. They had to reach excesses of 5 times the legal limit before their ability to drive became impaired. In most cases, the danger they presented was driving too slowly or with frequent hesitations.
Despite resounding state level calls to end to the war on drugs, the DEA and federal government still loom overhead with murky legal gray zones. When asked by Barbara Walters what his current stance on the issue was, Obama said he would not make it a priority to go after recreational users in states that have passed legalization initiatives.
How did the ‘impaired’ volunteers actually do? Well at a certain point, the substance had an undeniable effect on their ability to navigate a vehicle sensibly. But they all maintained surprising control, even at incredibly excessive levels of marijuana consumption. Moreover, unlike drunk drivers, they were very much aware of their state and agreed they were not on top of their game. Without over-indulging, it seems people’s critical thinking can be trusted more with a few hits than a couple of drinks.
When it comes to marijuana in America, there’s still a long road ahead to change laws, perceptions and behavior. But it’s progress worth making, as long as it gets us away from misinformed stereotypes like this.