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Illinois Supreme Court blows it, or why fighting drugged driving laws is so damned important

In a depressing opinion this week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that someone with absolutely no drugs in their blood and the almost completely undetectable trace (that took three tests to discover) of drugs in the urine, and in which case everyone (including the court) agreed that the defendant was not under the influence of the drugs at the time, nevertheless was properly sentenced to six years for the aggravated offense of of driving under the influence in an accident where people died.

The case is The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant, v. Aaron L. MARTIN, Appellee

Here’s the part that really gets to me.

One part of the law states:

Section 11–501 provides:

“(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:

(1) the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11–501.2 [625 ILCS 5/11–501.2];

(2) under the influence of alcohol;

(3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;

(4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;

(5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or

(6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act [720 ILCS 550/1 et seq.], a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act [720 ILCS 570/100 et seq.], an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act [720 ILCS 690/0.01 et seq.], or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act [720 ILCS 646/1 et seq.].

So item six is the key here. That “any amount” in “breath, blood, or urine” clause is ridiculous. But note that this is just a law saying that people shall not drive under these situations. The penalty is a misdemeanor.

Then later, the law specifies aggravated driving under the influence as follows:

(d) Aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof.

(1) Every person convicted of committing a violation of this Section shall be guilty of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof if: …

(F) the person, in committing a violation of subsection (a), was involved in a motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or watercraft accident that resulted in the death of another person, when the violation of subsection (a) was a proximate cause of the death.” 625 ILCS 5/11–501 (West 2008).

The plain reading of this clause clearly means that the felony enhancement only occurs if the infraction in (a) above was a proximate cause.

So what is “proximate cause”? From West’s Encyclopedia of American Law:

An act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred.

Proximate cause is the primary cause of an injury. It is not necessarily the closest cause in time or space nor the first event that sets in motion a sequence of events leading to an injury. Proximate cause produces particular, foreseeable consequences without the intervention of any independent or unforeseeable cause. It is also known as legal cause.

To help determine the proximate cause of an injury in Negligence or other tort cases, courts have devised the “but for” or “sine qua non” rule, which considers whether the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligent act. A finding that an injury would not have occurred but for a defendant’s act establishes that the particular act or omission is the proximate cause of the harm, but it does not necessarily establish liability since a variety of other factors can come into play in tort actions.

Some jurisdictions apply the “substantial factor” formula to determine proximate cause. This rule considers whether the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in producing the harm. If the act was a substantial factor in bringing about the damage, then the defendant will be held liable unless she can raise a sufficient defense to rebut the claims.

Is there any way in that definition that the presence of an almost undetectable amount of drugs in the urine and none in the blood could possibly be interpreted as “proximate cause”? No.

However, the Illinois Supreme Court manages to find a way. After their analysis of the law in the opinion they continue for some time in an extremely convoluted way to argue that it is proximate cause, not because it is “proximate cause” under the definition of “proximate cause,” but because the Illinois State Legislature has placed it in that position, and therefore by the legislature’s definition it must be proximate cause even though it isn’t.

This destruction of the English language by courts and the legislature is particularly offensive to me (and, I assume, other people who love what “the law” and language should be). It’s like the federal government defining by legislation that marijuana has no medical use, regardless of whether it actually has medical use. It doesn’t have medical use because they have defined it as not having medical use.

It’s like defining someone as 3/5 of a person. It’s offensive to law, reason, and the language.

At one point in the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision, they defended their decision to play these definition games with the idea that we have to throw everyone in the same pot (regardless of the level of impairment or whether there was any impairment at all), because otherwise it would make the prosecutor’s job too hard.

Which, of course, brings up another point not directly related to the decision: What asshole of a prosecutor pushes for aggravated penalties based on this evidence?

This is why “per se” drugged driving laws must be fought and repealed. I don’t know why the defendant crashed into the other car. Maybe he fell asleep. These kind of crashes are tragic (although declining due to advanced highway safety measures such as rumble strips, median fences, etc.), and someone responsible for such a crash should be held accountable. But if you have two individuals who committed the same tragic act, and one of them is sentenced to a number of additional years in prison for something that had absolutely no connection to the event, then it is a direct attack on the rule of law and adds to the destruction of our judicial system.

Ironically, the court notes that they’re following an earlier case (People v. Fate) where they stated: “There is no dispute that the statute is intended to keep drug-impaired drivers off of the road.” And yet, by making no distinction between drug-impaired drivers and those who have a miniscule trace in their urine, they do the opposite.

The court has just established that if you’re going to do illicit drugs at all, then there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving.

There’s a lot we don’t know about drugs and impairment. We can always use more research (particularly research that is actually interested in determining impairment and not justifying a back-door way to criminalize internal possession), and we need to educate lawmakers better on the actual research that does exist.

And we need to get rid of these completely nonsensical per se laws.

Better yet, let’s legalize drugs and make the laws irrelevant.

[Thanks, David]

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27 comments to Illinois Supreme Court blows it, or why fighting drugged driving laws is so damned important

  • Windy

    Pete, this paragraph is kind of unreadable:
    “In a depressing opinion this week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that someone with absolutely no drugs in their blood and the almost completely undetectable trace (that took three tests to discover) in the of drugs in the urine, and in which case everyone (including the court) agreed that the defendant was not have been under the influence of the drugs at the time, nevertheless was fine to be sentenced to six years for the aggravated offense of of driving under the influence in an accident where people died.”
    You might want to correct it for those of us who want to post this on facebook or elsewhere.

  • DdC

    Legalize Marijuana for Certain Illnesses
    CN Source: Chicago Sun-Times April 23, 2011 Illinois

    Reasonable people see a difference between using marijuana to treat the symptoms of a serious illness and passing out joints on a playground. Yet both acts, under current law, are criminal. State lawmakers can fix that by passing a pending bill, which in previous years has been shot down, that would legalize the medical use of marijuana by people with cancer, HIV, Crohn’s disease and several other illnesses. full story

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Orwell’s got nothing on Lewis Carroll. One of my all time favorites is a passage from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass” (1872), where Humpty Dumpty (no relationship to the Humpty Dumpty that died from defenestration) discusses semantics and pragmatics with Alice:

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master, that’s all.”

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!

  • David Marsh

    The theory and practice of Per Se Negligence is not uncommon in tort law. A dog owner is held responsible for injuries caused by the dog regardless of any contributory negligence by the injured party. The proximate cause of the injury is the ownership of the dog. The expansion of Per Se Negligence to drug use in criminal law tries to follow the same reasoning. While there may be no causality between the ingestion of the drug and the accident, the proximate cause of the injury is the negligence of the ingestion.

    I have difficulty expanding Per Se to criminality. The standards of guilt are different for criminal behavior “beyond a reasonable doubt”, in lieu of the civil standard of “preponderance” of the evidence, i.e. 51%. You cannot by a wave of the Per Se wand eliminate “reasonable doubt” standard. Tt acts against the judged by your piers basis of justice.

    I am not surprised that the Illinois Court ruled the way they did after reading the ruling. Their reasoning behind the difference of impairment between individuals and not having a viable standard to determine impairment thus giving cause to expanding the Per Se doctrine do durg use is a bit twitchy and questionably rational.

    We all know that the “War on (some) Drugs” is not about. It is not about impairment.

    “U.S. domestic drug policy does not carry out its stated goals, and policymakers are well aware of that. If it isn’t about reducing substance abuse, what is it about? It is reasonably clear, both from current actions and the historical record, that substances tend to be criminalized when they are associated with the so-called dangerous classes, that the criminalization of certain substances is a technique of social control.” – Noam Cholmsky

    • DdC

      “Personally, I think marijuana is legal in the United States.
      It’s too bad the officials haven’t gotten the word yet.”
      — Elvy Musikka

      We all know that the “War on (some) Drugs” is not about.

      David nothing in the law permits ruling on a law with poisoned roots. If the law is poison then everything pertaining to the law is eliminated. If you lie to legislate and that lie is exposed then reality and human possibilities are denied. You can’t break a law if it isn’t based in reality. Physical properties can’t be dismissed so the law sounds better, just to pass it. Cannabis does not fit as a schedule#1 narcotic and Hemp is totally a corporatist’ move to eliminate competition. Leary vs the US stated self-incrimination was unConstitutional to the 5th amendment. Urine testing is the ultimate self-incrimination. How do they get around that other than standard Nazi tactics and more lies to cover up the big one.

      Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marijuana Tax Act unconstitutional.

      None of this is Justice and any attempt to explain how they did it “legally” has to be false and border line crazytalk. They may have gotten away with it but I see nothing ethical or moral or legal. If the roots are poison so is the fruit. Zero tolerance of a substance remaining in the fat cells is also nothing to do with driving safely or reality. Seniors are less able than most just in general.

      This is another special circumstances for Ganja only. Classism once again removing a culture through manipulation and bogus interpretations. Jim Crow or the latest banning X-Cons from voting. Insolence. Profiling is routine. Another means to an end. The drug laws are out of order. Like 404 gag rules and mandatory minimum deterrents, leading to 90+% plea bargains. Leading to mandatory profit rehabs and unsanctioned faith based rehabs. Leading to profit in urine testing, probation and monitoring. 70% – 80% of all Ganja arrests are by snitches. They have no victim or knowledge of a law being broken unless they entice someone to con them to break it.

      All based on the same Nixon lie. So any attempt to justify blatant misconduct and way over reaching authority given to DA’s is legalsleeze and insulting to most. Lawyers seem to be the only ones “understanding” how and why they do these abominations. More like “excusing”. There simply is no excuse. Many more impossible feats for humans when it comes to the Ganjawar. Get busted for not paying taxes on an illegal substance, yet not legal for non profit status even if it meets all requirements. The Commerce santa Claus, Citizens United, Koch’s Propaganda and Cheney fracking gas into peoples kitchens.

      Fascism, and until that is seen we whack a mole. The BAR controls what you can or can not do the same as the AMA controls doctors. Individuals have to choose between their own practice and what’s right for Americans. Most would choose the prior so it never is dealt with. This law only kills cops and bystanders over a puff of a joint. Why would someone ruin their lives getting busted for walking through a smoke filled room. When they can try out running the cop, or fighting it out like a real war. So far the violence in the states has been one sided by cops. This goes beyond public safety and totally into intrusion. The stress to legal patients hindering their recovery is an act of violence by the state. There is no, absolutely no justification anymore than explaining the compassion of gassing millions of people to death over torture.

      It’s not about using drugs that’s for sure. The easiest and most accurate answer is Fascism. By definition. Marriage between State and Industry. Both making huge profits. If this isn’t the top priority we will continue arbitrating non-sense. Not having a viable standard to determine impairment is no doubt intentional. With no intent on changing it. More weasels. How do lawyers sit around thinking of ways to screw people by wording. This is just another nail in the coffin of trust. There clearly is no Justice in any way shape of form concerning the Ganjawar.

      “Impairment” has nothing to do with removing drivers using Ganja. There usually is none, and that is why it is important to demand your state either refuse Federal intimidation or insist on impairment testing. The Feds were pushing for smoke a joint loose your license with cutting highway funds. They do the same with CAMP money for eradications. Refuse and loose. Common everyday Ganjawar extortion, coercion and Fascism. Not Justice, and that should be atrocious to any true believer in the system.

      Cannabis and Driving

      THC’s effects after doses up to 300 g/kg never exceeded alcohol’s at BACs of 0.08 g% and were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs (Robbe 1994). Yet THC’s effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourage greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former’s users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence.
      ~ Hindrik W.J. Robbe
      Institute for Human Psychopharmacology,
      University of Limburg,
      P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

      Field Impairment Testing (FIT)
      FIT 2000 Series
      Fitness-for-Duty
      Impairment Screeners
      30-second test. PMI has developed a unique technology to measure human impairment. It’s proprietary technology can assess whether a person is significantly impaired by fatigue, legal medications, illegal drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation; alone or in combination.

      “A single glass of wine will impair your driving more than smoking a joint. And under certain test conditions, the complex way alcohol and cannabis combine to affect driving behaviour suggests that someone who has taken both may drive less recklessly than a person who is simply drunk”.
      ~ New Scientist March 2002

      Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License
      In an unexpected development, the State Assembly Public Safety Committee, under pressure from Gov. Gray Davis, approved AB 2595, a bill to mandate an automatic six month driver’s license suspension for any drug offense. Federal law requires California to pass such a law or pass a law specifically opting out of it, or lose $100 million in federal highway funds. Gov. Davis has made known that he intends to veto any opt-out bill, to force legislators to impose “Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License” in order to keep the highway funds.

      AMA Calls For Ending Nixon’s Lie
      The American Medical Association (AMA) voted today to reverse its long-held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value. The AMA adopted a report drafted by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled, “Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes,” which affirmed the therapeutic benefits of marijuana and called for further research.

      “You’re enough of a pro,” Nixon tells Shafer, “to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”
      – Richard Milhouse Nixon

      “Marijuana does not lead to physical dependency, although some evidence indicates that the heavy, long-term users may develop a psychological dependence on the drug”
      ~ The Shafer Commission of 1970

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Presuming that David meant peers rather than piers, that’s from the Magna Carta, not US Jurisprudence. When the US was founded it was expected that juries would consist of white, male property owners, hardly a jury of peers for most of the population. Perhaps it could be argued from common law, but it sure isn’t an expressly protected right in the US.

  • Sam

    Reasonable people also see a difference between recreational use by adults and driving while (actually) under the influence.

    • Buc

      Thus the reason that it’s hard to take whatever the court says these days as respectable or serious.

      Really, what it comes down to, is it’s a bunch of people that have opinions on social issues just like the rest of us do. Difference is they get to enforce their opinions.

  • So let me get this straight. If I get into a car accident and the last blunt or bowl I smoked was almost two months ago, a very, very faint trace of pot will still be in my system and therefore must have contributed to the cause of the accident?

    Ok, fine, we’ll stick with that so long as we do the exact same treatment to everyone that smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol. If they’re not going to do the same kind of treatment for that stuff that’s legal, then they shouldn’t dick with those of us that use marijuana.

  • Buc

    In Soviet Russia, you break law. In Amerika, law breaks you!

  • darkcycle

    Disgusting. It was never about impairment, now it’s clear for everybody to see. This current legal system is criminal. They will do this to crush the citizenry, yet torturers and people who commit trillions of dollars worth of financial fraud walk away without fear of prosecution. In my opinion anybody who is convicted in this current environment is a political prisoner. (And only subject to legal sanction because they are not the top 1%.)Noam Chomsky was correct.

  • DaveT

    “The court has just established that if you’re going to do illicit drugs at all, then there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving.”

    Not true. There is still the fact that being intoxicated actually does decrease your ability drive safely. Responsible people who choose to use illegal drugs still wouldn’t drive despite this ruling. The problem in this ruling is that it connects two illegal acts that are unrelated in such a way that compounds the penalties unfairly.

    • DaveT: My comment that you quoted says that there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving. You’re response has to do with responsibility — that’s an entirely different thing. I never said that a bad law made it OK to be irresponsible, only that the law as written does not do what it purports to do — ie, act as a deterrent to driving while impaired.

      • Duncan20903

        Indeed, convicting people of impaired driving who are not in fact impaired does nothing whatsoever to promote highway safety.

      • davidtvz

        But there is a legal incentive not to use drugs before driving, provided it’s a drug that actually causes impairment. It’s illegal to get intoxicated and cause car accidents. So when you said “there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving” it seemed poorly stated to me.

        The salient point of your article is better stated in your reply: “the law as written does not do what it purports to do — ie, act as a deterrent to driving while impaired.”

  • Mannie

    If you make enough things illegal, being convicted of a serious crime is a matter of probability. It’s a lottery. If everything is illegal, it doesn’t matter what you do. Nothing is illegal, it’s just a lottery.

    • perlhaqr

      “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” — Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”

  • Servetus

    Trace amounts of chemical compounds in the human body are comparable to dirt under the fingernails. Seek and you shall find it. The Illinois drugged driving court decision is a lot like the drug laws’ justifications for seizing large amounts of loose cash from people by purchasing time on high-dollar equipment to detect cocaine and marijuana traces in paper currency.

    The problem isn’t so much the demon compounds, which are everywhere. The problem is the remarkable accuracy of some new types of analysis equipment. At what point, and under what circumstances, does the law define a background level of contamination when something like a single microbe can be detected in a cubic meter of air using an electronic biochip?

    Prohibitionists and their drugged driving pogrom will crash into a wall if it’s determined false positives are being used to legally disenfranchise people, or perhaps even send them to jail. Those who promote the drugged driving crackdown will never admit to any of its flaws. That job will of course be left to law critics and reformers.

  • Chris

    The court has just established that if you’re going to do illicit drugs at all, then there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving.

    This is the part that always got me. It’s on the same level as knowing injection drug users are using dirty needles and not doing anything about it. And if drugged driving really is the non-issue that we see today (when we can expect people to use drugs and then drive) is it really going to be that bad when it’s legal?

  • Anonymous

    Always a great read, despite the tragic irony of its outcome…

    “…then there’s absolutely no legal incentive to avoid using drugs right before driving.” → Yes! While I believe in the idea that we should be free from government interference with our private choices, I do consent to certain regulations meant to provide incentive to the population. Bad example: extra taxes on my cigarettes tend to frustrate me, but the sin tax emphasizes the incentive of quitting smoking. It maybe seems too consequentialist to a lot of those who oppose all/most government influence on private choices, but I’d like to think that society has more to benefit than to lose by having that sin tax.

    Compromises to ideology and black-and-white thinking is something I admire in the drug policy debate. Revealing to others how drug policy is more than the choice between status quo and drug-crazed chaos is something that I find very rewarding. The problem is that those in power (in all three branches of gov’t, as we can see), when given the chance to alter policy, always choose deontology over rational thought.

    A metaphor I use when discussing drug testing: Sports, like American football or boxing, can be dangerous. If played excessively, sports can cause damage to those that choose to practice them. A person coming out of the ring after a boxing match will probably not be impaired enough not to drive properly, but it is very likely that the chance of getting into an accident is higher for those who suffer from the negative side effects of playing too much sports (i.e. fatigue, cramps, brain damage). Due to the higher risk of accident in extreme athletes, (a) Should police officers test drivers for past athletic activity? (b) Would we be able distinguish a driver whose performance was affected by sports versus one who exercised briefly before driving? (c) Would it be coherent with our political values to allow athletes to be discriminated against? (d) Would enforcing a policy with such discrimination benefit society how it was meant to?

    What I’m getting at is the obvious fact that taking the rights of the masses for the excesses of the few does not fit with the American tradition of freedom… except in the case of drugs (and arguably the War on Terror). Using this metaphor allows me to point out the flaws in the idea/philosophy of policy while removing the drug factor, which triggers this automatic opposition through the regurgitation of slippery slopes and lies. On another note it’s also just as relevant to use on the topic of drug testing for work purposes, in which case “increased risk of accident” can be replaced with “decreased productivity”.

    Anyways, just my rambling two cents.

  • This is not my America

    I think many times its the thrill of the chase. What I mean is these lawyers and judges love to make law do what its not supposed to do, say what it does not say…its a thrill for them.

    We live in times when we will be accused of crimes that are not crimes. It will only get worse til We the people stand and say no more.

    The criminals now run the houses of law…they can do with us as the will.

    2+1=4

  • vicky vampire

    I liked that quote by that you posted Dave Marsh regarding Noam Cholmsky, and has Ddc your links are great everyone’s opinion on this is very good.
    Yeah I also love the quote you posted Perlhagr about AYN Rand how if their aren’t enough criminals they end up declaring so many things a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live with out breaking a law, what really saddens me is that Conservatives and Republicans run around bragging about how they just love Ayn Rand but in reality they are I knnow it’s fucking cliche to say but it’s so hypocritical of them they do not really follow what Rand truly said all these folks just like to give it lip service to make them look like they stand for real Freedom when in a real sense they do don’t adhere to her concepts at all it’s just a farce.
    You are so right Servetous this trace amount of Chemicals is bullshit, all around. Its an obsession to reduce everyone incapable of driving or any thing else and a criminal with just miniscule trace amounts of drugs used weeks before in some states still qualify you has incapacitated and dangerous and guilty of accident and crime for no realistic sane reason this is total makes me fume.
    Yeah everyone will test for a false positive of something soon,yeah its already around cause everything is contaminated money has traces of cocaine and who now what else has traces on it that we handle.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The American People may have caught a break on this issue. Rhode Island House Minority Leader and self hater Robert Watson (R) who once criticized the state Legislature by invoking the image of pot-smoking immigrants, denies a DUI charge he received after being arrested for alleged marijuana possession, was charged with DUI-cannabis last night.

    http://newsblog.projo.com/2011/04/rep-watson-faces-drug-dui-char.html

    “While confident I was a safe and sober operator, trace evidence of marijuana was discovered and I was charged with operating under the influence, a charge I vehemently deny.”

    “A subsequent breathalyzer test at the station showed that I was well below the legal limit of .08. I was processed and released within an hour.”

    “These events will be addressed fully in the proper legal forum.”

  • vicky vampire

    Yeah that Watson chap another anti-legalization and anti-gay hypocrite want to bet, He gets off easy but regular peons like us get full legal force thrown at us.
    I hope Judge Napolitano on his Freedom watch covers this, he like to expose hypocrisy on both sides I’m sure Geraldo or John Stossel might cover has well this kind of story they like to expose also.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      It is possible (not likely) that he’ll get thrown under the bus if the powers that be decide that sacrificing him will help get “drugged” driving laws adopted. It could sure make them look “tough” on “drugged” drivers. Hmm, now I’m wondering about his votng record for the RI medicinal cannabis patient protection laws.

      Not a vote but “Watson recently said it wasn’t worthy of legislators’ time to debate decriminalizing marijuana…”

      But I guess he isn’t all bad:
      “Rhode Island legislators’ votes once again have echoed the will of their constituents. Today, the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee sent medical marijuana bill H.B. 6052 on to the House floor, passing the bill by a 10-2 vote. Included in the “ayes” was House Minority Leader Robert Watson (R-East Greenwich). ”
      http://www.mpp.org/states/rhode-island/alerts/another-huge-commitee-win-for-medical-marijuana-and-x2026-on-to.html