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Setting an arbitrary measurement for cannabis driving impairment

Over at Westword.com there are some good articles regarding current efforts in Colorado to set a THC driving limit at five nanograms per milliliter of blood — a level that, while better than the per-se laws in states like Illinois (where any detection of THC qualifies as impairment), is still far too low for many people, particularly regular medical marijuana users.

THC driving limits could cause more innocent people to spend months in jail, attorney says explores the problems of testing, the long delays in tests, and the fact that too few people in the criminal justice system have been trained to understand them.

The document above also illustrates another issue that would be amplified by the passage of a THC driving limits bill, in Bresee’s opinion. The results listed under the test name “Blood Cannabinoid Confirmation” read, “Delta-9-THC-COOH 30 ng/ml,” which suggest that the driver in question had a THC level six times higher than the proposed intoxication limit. But that’s not true, since the THC-COOH reading measures “the amount of THC that is stored in fatty tissue cells, but that isn’t active,” Bresee says.

​Department of heath tests later showed that the amount of active THC in the driver’s system (usually listed on forms as “Delta-9-THC,” sans the COOH) was six nanograms. And a private test that Bresee says is more accurate than ones the state runs — its methodology utilizes liquid, not gas, as does the CDPHE’s lab — registered the amount at just 1.5 nanograms.

Confused? So are many prosecutors, Bresee believes. […]

In one case set in a small eastern Colorado county, Bresee says it took him more than nine months to make a prosecutor understand the relevance of active versus inactive THC.

THC blood test: Pot critic William Breathes nearly 3 times over proposed limit when sober – in this article, a medical marijuana patient has his blood tested after a night of sleep and not smoking marijuana for 15 hours.

Even when deemed sober by a doctor, my active THC levels were almost triple the proposed standard of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood.[…]

The lab ran a serum/plasma test which showed my THC count to be at 27. According to Dr. Alan Shackelford, who ordered the blood work and evaluated my results, the number of active THC nanograms per milliliter count is about half of that total, or 13.5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

In short: If this bill passes and I was pulled over by police, I would be over the limit by 8.5 nanograms. By that logic, I would be more likely to have mowed down a family in my car on my way to the doctor’s office that day than actually arriving there safely. But I didn’t — because I wasn’t impaired.

Don’t take my word for it. According to Shackelford, who evaluated me before writing the order to have my blood drawn last Wednesday, I was “in no way incapacitated.” According to him, my test results show that it would not be uncommon to see such a high level in other people who use cannabis regularly — like medical marijuana patients. “Your level was about 13.5 for whole blood… which would have made you incapacitated on a lab value,” he said. “They need to vote this sucker down based on that alone.”

I’m all in favor of getting drivers off the road when they’re impaired, but a test that doesn’t actually determine impairment and will sweep up non-impaired drivers into the net is not at all helpful.

It seems to me that the best option may be a combination of videotaped field roadside sobriety tests plus blood testing, along with good judgement. The notion that at at x nanograms you’re OK, but x+1 nanograms and you’re impaired (particularly when that result can mean years of prison) is absurd.

Now if you have a videotaped sobriety test and the driver is staggering around with slurred speech and eye-hand coordination problems and the test comes in with significant THC presence, then I think a judge or jury can readily determine impairment. If, on the other hand, the person seems able to perform all requested sobriety tasks competently despite having a high THC blood level, and perhaps is able to show through subsequent testing that her regular use (as a patient or not) brings her levels up higher, then a judge or jury can rightly say that she was not impaired.

These are human beings, not machines.

Since the cause of most crashes is fatigue, I wonder why the legislature isn’t setting a legal limit on the levels of adenosine in the body.

[Thanks, Cliff]

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37 comments to Setting an arbitrary measurement for cannabis driving impairment

  • Cliff

    I am so glad that William Breathes, of Westword, did this in a professional and methodical fashion. We all knew that 5 nanograms / liter was about as useful as 1 nanogram / liter. The representative, Claire Levy, who sponsored the bill is from Boulder County. After she introduced the bill there was a firestorm of blow back from the MMJ community and she tried to raise the level to 8 nanograms / liter but was shouted down by the jackboots as being soft on crime. Seems that even her reconsidered level was ill conceived. We all had bets about how much THC William had in his system after abstaining for 15 hours. My bet was 10 nanograms / liter, double the proposed level and he was over that.

    This is how real investigative journalism works.

    Good Job Westword, you are my favorite newspaper.

    I just heard that the bill was killed in the Senate. Yay!

    /first hat tip, I’m so proud. Thanks Pete!!1one eleventy.

    • Duncan20903

      I’m mad at Westword right now. Their software refused to let me use the word boner when commenting on the side effects of Viagra.

  • Asher

    This should have been posted under “Concepts that need to be staked through the heart and buried 6 feet under ground”, imo.
    Is there anyone here that honestly believes that marijuana use causes driver impairment?
    I don’t own my own home so I don’t smoke in my house, I smoke in my car. I smoke and drive at the same time and have done so for over two years. I have never been in a crash or even been pulled over since I began smoking (although I do understand that it is only a matter of time before I get caught this way). So either…
    A)I am a damn good driver
    b)I’m just not a suspect because I am White?
    c)Marijuana doesn’t impair one’s ability to drive.
    I would like to believe that A is the answer, and would prefer not to believe that B is correct. But in the end I think that C is correct.
    Anyways, such a law would be unenforceable… Not that that has stopped them before.

    • Jake

      @Asher, I think its a bit irresponsible to say that it doesn’t impair one’s ability to drive. To use an extreme, you wouldn’t see a racing driver smoke before racing… I think you are questioning just how it impairs one’s ability. It is no doubt less severe than Alcohol, but just as 1 beer will have minimal impairment compared to several, there will be a difference between one joint and four (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1068625.stm). We all want Cannabis legalised but that doesn’t mean I want stoned drivers on the road any more than drunk drivers (even if they are less impaired, they are still ‘impaired’), and saying it doesn’t effect people when driving does nothing to help the cause…

      Either way, more research needs to be conducted into just how it can impair someone’s driving ability and how the active compounds metabolise in a range of people.. then a responsible and rational limit/range/test can be constructed.

    • Duncan20903

      When I remember back to my first year or two of enjoying cannabis there’s no way I could call myself anything but impaired, and consider myself fortunate to have gotten through that period without causing a tragedy.

      I do believe that’s why we see different results on studies involving cannabis impairment. If you get someone stoned who hasn’t much experience I would expect significant impairment. Use Allan, darkcycle and me as subjects and the tests will show that we’re better drivers than straight people.

      In fact, in 1982 I was in a collision which occurred because of that kicking hashish that the freedom fighters terrorists were exporting to finance their war with the USSR. I was sitting at a red light, just stoned to the bejeezuz belt. The signal turned green and I didn’t notice. The friend I was with said, “umm, hey Duncan the light’s green”. I looked up, and sure enough it was. I very cautiously looked left, right, and left and then proceeded very slowly through the intersection, at which time we got t-boned by a lady that didn’t notice that her signal was red. Had I not been so stoned I would have done a jack rabbit through the intersection the second the light tuned green before she ever got there. Too much caution is dangerous!

      • I once was driving home at nite, in a considerably altered cannabis state of bean… I saw I was approaching a red light and stopped. Of course color me red because I was a block away from the red light… I then knew that there is a level of stoned I ought not be driving at.

        With that said I’d still love to participate in a study on being stoned and driving, preferably a study that does a side by side comparison w/ someone drinking alcohol. I’ve been smoking pot for nigh on 40 years and drinking booze just a few years more (I prolly drink a six pack a year these days). I haven’t had a ticket in 40 years and had my last accident 27 years ago… not that I haven’t violated driving laws or not that I haven’t driven under the influence of one thing or another (I don’t recommend freeway driving on LSD) but I DON’T drive when I feel incapable.

      • Jake

        I suppose at the heart of the issue is what is considered ‘impaired’ or incapable. It seems that with Cannabis a simple THC blood level is insufficient. I’m all for freedoms of mind/body but as soon as you get behind a wheel whilst impaired, that ‘absent harm to others’ ethos is, or can very easily, be voided and I can’t condone that. The other concern is that although one may feel capable or unimpaired, they could actually be (as happens a lot with Alcohol) unfit to drive. I personally won’t smoke/drink etc. if I know I need to drive a few hours later (to echo what I wrote below). Allan, if you did take part in one of those studies and they showed you to your surprise that in some cases where you feel capable you are actually dangerously impaired, would you stop driving whilst stoned? A genuine question, not trying to attack you! :-). But often a persons perception can overrule the facts and prevent a sensible and safe choice being made. Or am I playing it too safe and being too conservative on this issue?

        The problem is that the discussion of how you define ‘impaired’ across a range of ‘illicit’ drugs isn’t being had in a proper, adult manner, and instead arbitrary levels are being set – once again the drug war stifles pragmatic policy… This was from a few years back, but it still stands out to me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzKjFiGFrcU.

      • Jake

        Also, a nice anecdotal comparison between sober, stoned and drunk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA_-zquyY1A (from 3m20s in)

      • darkcycle

        darkcycle’s a pretty good driver. 25 years in a sports car club and thirty years in a motorcycle club. Oh. I also vintage race motorcycles and autocross my ’68 Jag. Not s’posed to bring a ringer Duncan.

      • darkcycle

        To clarify, darkcycle does not drive when stoned. There’s really no good reason to do so.

      • well Jake… like DarkCycle I’m a bit above the experienced driver. Used to drive gymkanas in my MG, have several hundred thousand miles of comm’l driving under my belt and prolly over a million miles of personal driving. And no worries Jake, I didn’t feel attacked…

        Sure, if my performance under a supervised test showed that indeed I was under performing of course I’d change my tune. But I’m self-aware enough to know when I shouldn’t drive and I haven’t been in such a state in decades. Of course there is a caveat to all o’ this… you young’uns should know that getting high/stoned when young isn’t the same as when you’re “old” and experienced. Really…

      • Jake

        darkcycle/Allan/Duncan, I had no doubt that you guys are sensible when driving, and although I’m a young’un, I would like to think of myself as sensible too in this matter :-). What worries me is the initial posters comments that “Marijuana doesn’t impair one’s ability to drive”. It clearly does and I don’t think thats in dispute. But the attitude that it doesn’t is as damaging as the ‘Cannabis is harmless’ line of thought to the cause. All drug use should be as responsible as possible (or ‘absent harm to others’), and when it comes to driving, a sensible approach that leans on the safe side should be adopted when judging impairment, not aribtrary numbers… at least thats my 2c…

        Happy 420! 🙂

  • BluOx

    The thought that law enforcers can compel you to supply a blood sample is disturbing. Blow in a tube ,maybe, but withdraw blood, from me, NEVER!

    • Duncan20903

      They’ll forcibly draw your blood in California if you refuse a breathalyzer. Google it for more details.

  • Benjamin

    This is the largest problem the re-legalization movement faces with marijuana. There simply is no test to determine intoxication. Blood and urine tests DO NOT prove intoxication.

    The only test I know of that I would be comfortable with for determining intoxication is a mouth swab, which would test for marijuana particles in a person’s mouth. But I would imagine that a quick swish of mouthwash could foil such a test.

    • Duncan20903

      A computer simulator can be used to gauge impairment and people impaired by unusual or newly created drugs and for reasons other than being high wouldn’t get away with it.

      Gosh, you know, it may have been the 1970s when I first hear the lame canard of “don’t have a cannabis breathalyzer equivalent so we can’t legalize pot” Gosh, how many decades do they get to get away with not bothering to do the research before people call them on it. How many years did it take the scientist working on The Manhattan Project to invent the atomic bomb? Well we were at war for a total of 3 years and 9 months so it had to be less than that.

      The Know Nothing prohibitionist wails, “we can’t legalize pot because we don’t have a breathalyzer equivalent.”

      The Church Lady answers, “Well, isn’t that conveeeee-n-n-nient?”

      Oh, by the way, the first law criminalizing drunken driving was passed in 1910 in the State of New York. The breathalyzer was not invented until 1953, and it took until almost 1970 before it became the ubiquitous tool of law enforcement that we so know and love. I can assure you that there were substantial numbers of drunken driver arrested and convicted in the intervening 6 decades. The only difference is that the police officer and the prosecutor had to prove that a driver suffered actual impairment. With the breathalyzer they don’t have to do anything but prove that the driver blew too much ethanol into a straw. The police also have video tape nowadays. It just isn’t that much of a trick to prove that an impaired person is indeed impaired.

      This particular argument is a total red herring. It’s also not going to advance as long as the ignorati continues to allow it as an excuse to keep cannabis illegal. It’s been over 30 years. Tell them they should have had it done 27 years ago.

      But then again there might be another reason we don’t have a “pot breathalyzer.” It’s the work of someone very familiar, and very evil, really, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh I remember now, could it be the work of ***Satan***?

  • Windy

    The best solution is to forget tests (blood, urine, whatever) to determine impairment. Instead, if someone is driving recklessly (regardless the cause) stop them, ticket them, perhaps remove them from the roadway if they are obviously impaired (again, for whatever reason). Stop these fishing expedition stops (whether for a non-functioning taillight, or a “checkpoint” road block) on drivers who are not causing problems for others on the road. Just stop ticketing/arresting drivers who are NOT driving in a negligent or reckless manner just because they have a certain level of a certain substance in their bodily fluids, we all know this is done more for revenue than for safety reasons.

    • swansong

      Thanks for posting this and saving me the time.

      “Fishing expeditions” is exactly what they are.

      If one is not breaking a law (especially a ridiculously arbitrary one) leave them the hell alone.

  • Malcolm Kyle

    Here is a graph which indicates the presence of certain amounts of cannabis in your body REDUCES accident risk:

    http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/2739/picture9iqg.png

    Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17916224

    * When combined 2002 to 2005 data are compared with combined 2006 to 2009 data, the Nation as a whole experienced a statistically significant reduction in the rate of past year drugged driving (from 4.8 to 4.3 percent), as did seven States: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Four of these seven States have legalized medicinal marijuana, Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan and California.
    http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/205/DruggedDriving.htm

    * Fact: California led the US to a nationwide, statistically significant reduction in the incidence of “drugged” driving during a time period when the number of patients claiming the protection of the California Compassionate Use Act and SB-420 more than tripled.

    * Fact: The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine document that MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING: http://peaceandloveism.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4692 (read the article not just the link!)

    Google MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY. You’ll see 2 common findings:
    1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired.
    2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down a little and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy! Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

    * On November 30, Gil Kerlikowske presented this to the press: New Data On The Dangers Of Drugged Driving.
    http://ofsubstance.gov/blogs/pushing_back/archive/2010/11/30/51736.aspx

    Looking at only fatalities, the data that Kerlikowske provides makes absolutely no distinction between the parties at fault and innocent second-vehicle casualties. No distinction between impairment and the mere presence of metabolites and no distinctions between drunk or drugged drivers (illegal or prescription).

    And guess what? Kerli also forgot to mention the fact that U.S. traffic fatalities are at a record low despite drivers traveling farther than they did in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study of traffic injuries and fatalities in 2009 found that 33,808 people were killed in vehicular accidents, which is a decline of 9.7 percent from 2008’s figures. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 1950 to find a year when fewer people were killed.

    Keep in mind that there were only 44.7 million cars on U.S. roads in 1950 and a population of 150 million compared to today’s 255.9 million cars and a population of 310 million, according to the DOT. Which means that the probability of being involved in an auto fatality is dramatically lower than it was nearly 60 years ago.
    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2010/09/us-traffic-deaths-drop-to-historic-low.html

    * A comparison of meta-analyses of experimental studies on the impairment of driving-relevant skills by alcohol or cannabis suggests that a THC concentration in the serum of 7–10 ng/ml is correlated with an impairment comparable to that caused by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%.

    http://www.bobkeeferlaw.com/library/Developing_limits___Marijuana___2007.pdf

    * It takes approximately 2-3 hours for your serum THC concentration to fall below 10ng/ml after smoking cannabis (of different strengths). In other words you’re okay to drive after 2-3 hours of using:

    http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/3403/picture3u.png

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/um4q1mq4820h7264/

    Bear in mind that THC-COOH is the inactive metabolite.

    * I’m sure that many of us have heard someone say they didn’t want to smoke any more because they had to drive and therefor didn’t want to be too stoned. I’m also sure that many of us have heard a drunk slur that they definitely weren’t impaired and considered themselves more than fit to slouch behind the wheel of their 3000 pound lethal weapon. –Cannabis tends to make you calm and cautious while alcohol makes you aggressive and reckless.

    Hall & Hommel (2007) consider whether there is “sufficient evidence to discourage cannabis users from driving by conducting roadside drug testing” considering the low prevalence of cannabis use. They conclude that there is “no scientifically persuasive evidence that” random drug testing has saved lives. Similarly, Weatherburn et al. (2003) argue “there are no solid grounds for asserting that cannabis intoxication is a major cause of road trauma”. Consideration needs to be given to evidence that THC serum concentration does no always denote impairment (Bedard et al. 2007). Laumon et al.’s (2005) conclusion corroborates these findings and reports that the role of cannabis in “fatal crashes is significantly lower than that associated with [any] positive blood alcohol concentration.” Whilst Grotenhermen et al. (2007) do suggest that a concentration of 7-10 ng/ml is comparable to a blood alcohol content of 0.05%, Bedard et al. report that the “frequency of drinking and driving and the severe impact of alcohol on driving abilities are well beyond what has been shown with cannabis”. Anderson et al. (2010) found that being under influence of active cannabis, “did not appear to affect their [participants’] driving” and observed “many teenagers and young adults driving under the influence of marijuana are doing so while… talking on the cell phone and/or text messaging others”. This is noteworthy in light of evidence that the reaction time of drivers sending text messages is worse than that of driving under the influence of cannabis (Parsons, 2008).

    References:

    Hall, W. & Hommel, R. (2007). Reducing cannabis-impaired driving: is there sufficient evidence for drug testing of drivers? Addiction, 102(12), 1918-9.

    Weatherburn, D., Jones, C. & Donelly, N. (2003). Prohibition and Cannabis Use in Australia: A Survey of 18- to 29-year-olds. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 36(1), 77-93.

    Bedard et al. 2007. The impact of cannabis on driving. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 98: 6-11.

    Laumon, B., Gadegbeku, B., Martin, J.L. & Biecheler, M.B. (2005). Cannabis intoxication and fatal road crashes in France: population based case-control study, British Medical Journal, 331, 1371-1374.

    Grotenhermen, F., Leson, G., Berghaus, G., Drummer, O.H., Krüger, H.-P., Longo, M., Moskowitz, H., Perrine, B., Ramaekers, J. G., Smiley, A. & Tunbridge, R. (2007). Developing limits for driving under cannabis. Addiction, 102, 1910–1917.

    Anderson, B.M., Rizzo, M., Block, R.I., Pearlson G.D. & O’Leary D.S. (2010). Sex Differences in the Effects of Marijuana on Simulated Driving Performance. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 42(1),19-30.

    Parsons, P. (2008). Texting drivers more dangerous than drunks: study. Reuters (London) 18 September: Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLI65189720080918?sp=true [Accessed, 28 October 2010]

    • Jake

      The problem as I see it, which that first graph illustrates, is that at a certain level a driver is impaired increasing the risk of an accident. However, that a THC-blood level can vary from person to person, depending on several factors, renders a blood test near-useless. The best method would be a roadside sobriety test then?

      Also, according to the graph, the maximum reduction in risk is ~1/4 of a point compared to ~6.5 times higher for someone truly ‘impaired’. So, how does one gauge when they are in the zero additional or negative risk ‘envelope’? One difference with Cannabis is in the time it takes someone’s body to process THC compared to Alcohol. So you could effectively go out, smoke, sober up and drive home (in the safe ‘envelope’), but with alcohol, when you think you’re sober, you’re probably not and will be a more dangerous driver than you realise… would the same effect (thinking you’re sober but not being in the safe ‘envelope’) not happen with Cannabis? Personally, I would hate to have a crash and wonder if even a small amount had impaired me, so to be on the safe side I won’t smoke/drink etc. if I know I have to drive a few hours later… Am I being too conservative in saying that one really shouldn’t take any depressant-type drugs before driving?

    • strayan

      I could swear I’ve written that before ;P

      • Jake

        lol really? Would appear we’ve come to the same conclusion (wasn’t plagiarising your work!).. Great minds hey! 🙂

  • warren

    I would suggest nailing people for alcohol metabolites in their system.[they can be detected up to 5 days.]Whats good for the goose is good for the booze sloppers. That would be the end of that.Too many booze sloppers in government and pig departments.

  • Servetus

    From the very beginning, the drugged driving brouhaha was all about finding new ways to persecute cannabis smokers who could not be apprehended otherwise.

    Unless a driver has combined alcohol or some other drug with cannabis, there is little or no chance a person’s driving will appear impaired to an observer, based on driving tests that have been conducted repeatedly since the early 70s.

    Prohibitionists will still want to set the Δ-9-THC threshold ridiculously low, or focus upon inactive 11-carboxy-THC, instead of the aforementioned active ingredient, because it fits the ONDCP’s dogma of allowing absolutely no medical or recreational use at all. It’s a sneaky way to establish zero tolerance policies.

    The flaw in the ONDCP’s little plan is its anti-intellectuals and witch hunters must conform to the rigors of real science if they’re to use biochemistry as a weapon in their prohibitorum’s arsenal. For prohibs who think science is a belief system comparable to a religion, there’ll be no chance they’ll try to get the science or numbers the right.

    It will be up to forums like this one, as well as the litigators, to stem the tide of primitive cultural attacks being plotted against upstanding and productive American citizens by the least productive Holy Office of the Prohibition.

    • darkcycle

      “…From the very beginning, the drugged driving brouhaha was all about finding new ways to persecute cannabis smokers who could not be apprehended otherwise.”
      Nailed it. Give that man a See-garr.

    • strayan

      lol this reminds me that I got accused of “hiding behind science” in a debate with a prohibitionist the other day.

  • Greenfinger

    Cannabis makes me a better driver as does amphetamines.
    You cant judge all drugs by how alcohol effects you, that stuff just makes you a moron.

  • Duncan20903

    Something we have to work on is educating people that there are several different THCs and that not all are psychoactive. The victims of the Know Nothings’ propaganda actually believe that you are high for weeks after smoking a joint because the inert THC-cooh molecule is stored in the fat cells.
    ……………………………………………………
    Oh yeah, three freakin’ cheers for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. No more using the ambient smell of burned cannabis as probable cause! We should chip in and buy them dinner at Ruth’s Chris steak house. We are winning, no doubt. Yo baby yo baby yo baby yo!

    BTW the Colorado bill got tabled to wait on a study so that they’ll know the facts, or at least what they’re told by someone in a white lab coat.

    It is a good day to get high!

    SJC: Odor of marijuana not enough to order suspect out of car

    The odor of burnt marijuana is no longer enough for police officers to order a person from their car, now that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, the state’s highest court ruled today.

    “Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the court ruled in a decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.
    /snip/

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/04/sjc_odor_of_mar.html

  • James Little

    Why would they need to test the levels in the blood, especially considering that such a test is not accurate, a standard field sobriety test should suffice…

  • David Marsh

    Isn’t it interesting that even we presume that cannabis causes an impairment. How does that work for musicians? How does that presumption color our experience and effect our ability to define the scope of the cannabis debate?

  • vicky vampire

    Yes Swansong, I agree with you fishing expeditions are what they are doing if they are not breaking traffic laws and driving responsibly let them go, Hell no they are Fishing for money from writing you up for a ticket and depending on state seeing what with total intimidation given enough time they can strip you literally of your sanity,hope property and anything else, over a Fucking joint.

    Your joking Duncan when you say ( The victims of the know nothings propaganda actually believe that you are high for weeks after smoking a joint because the inert THC-Molecule IS STORED IN THE FAT CELLS) now come on your being sarcastic no one is that silly, please. Well maybe some religious right hicks?

  • Duncan20903

    Sorry Vicki. Haven’t you ever heard one of them suggest that cannabis should be re-legalized if the potheads agree to surrender their driving license? Another mind boggling misperception that the suffer is the belief that there are two kinds of people, you are either a Know Nothing prohibitionist or Jeff Spicoli.

  • Duncan20903

    To use an extreme, you wouldn’t see a racing driver smoke before racing…

    But you do see professional baseball pitchers throw a no hitter when tripping on LSD.

    Hmm, I guess everyone has heard this story. I just went to Google “no hitter”+LSD and Google suggested [ no hitter on acid ] before I typed the r. Here’s Mr. Ellis describing his feat in his own words. It’s set to a very amusing animation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vUhSYLRw14

  • unclesmedley

    There is nothing more counterproductive than disingenuousness in the service of common sense–and claims that cannabis does not impair neurological function is fatuously disingenuous. A side-by-side comparison of the effects of alcohol and marijuana might be satisfying on some level, but not especially useful in any practical sense.

    The proper test is simple: Compare stoned & not stoned people. Then compare someone when they are, and when they are not, high. It’d be like proving the existence of gravity, but if that’s what it takes to stop people in the pro-cannabis community from asserting that it should be legal to smoke & drive, I say let’s do it–because that assertion sounds like a product of dain bramage (if you follow my drift.)

    I have driven under the influence many times without incident, but that doesn’t make it a good idea, and suggesting otherwise doesn’t sound reasonable

  • The proper test is not that simple. What about comparing stoned people and old people? What about comparing stoned people and tired people?

    Sure, driving stoned is not a good idea. Never was. And yes, it does impair neurological function. However, from the standpoint of criminal sanctions, merely showing that a stoned person has slower reflexes than a not-stoned person isn’t the whole story.

    My uncle is 94 years old and his sober driving is a whole lot worse than most stoned drivers I’ve seen, and yet they’re not going to take his license away (partly because he lives in Sun City, AZ and old people vote).

    Tired people are much more likely to cause accidents than stoned people, yet nobody is passing zero tolerance laws against driving while tired. And practically every driver in the world has stories of nodding off while driving.

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  • Sorry to be intruding, but there is a fresh shakira website.
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