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August 2011
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Grasping for problems

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Some state lawmakers are hoping all the fuss over the White case will focus public attention on the growing problem of drugged driving, a crime that’s difficult to detect and hard to prosecute.

Although Kathleen White was suspected of drugged driving after her one-car accident on July 6, a hospital drug test cleared her of being under the influence of any opiate drugs, and a neurologist diagnosed a seizure.

Let me get this straight… the idea is to use the case of someone who was falsely accused of being high on drugs to promote tougher laws on drugged driving?

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11 comments to Grasping for problems

  • ezrydn

    Somebody needs a rabies shot, really, really bad.

  • Duncan20903

    Nah, they just need to take a seminar from the Niagra Falls police. It seems they’ve been successful in eliminate the distribution of drugs. I think the secret is that they assign at least 7 levels of criminal culpability for drugs possession.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/niagara-falls/article511536.ece

    Updated: August 4, 2011, 6:34 AM

    “NIAGARA FALLS — Three recent raids in Niagara Falls are being credited with closing a Niagara Avenue crack house and choking off cocaine and marijuana trafficking.”


    “Charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance are…”

  • This is not my America

    blah blah blah DRUGGED DRIVING blah blah blah,
    innocent,blah blah blah DRUGGED DRIVING

    Hum ..yup that paragraph says the same thing they said.

  • Servetus

    …a crime that’s difficult to detect and hard to prosecute.” Oh really.

    The ONDCP’s drugged driving cult is creating brouhaha for their cause under the optimistic assumption that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. The New Mexico incident may be an exception to the case.

    So how difficult could it be to legally define a subjective evaluation for driving impairment? Consider these two examples:

    Driver # 1 is a white male driving a new Mercedes Benz. Driver # 1 is also well past the legal alcohol limit, but because his highly engineered German luxury sedan can hold the road for more than a quarter-mile without wavering, even though the driver’s hands do not touch the steering wheel, no cop notices his probable impairment, and so no one pulls him over to test him for drugs.

    Driver # 2 is an ethnic-looking male with long hair driving a nice Corvette. The Corvette has a tight suspension for fast cornering, and twitchy, somewhat overly responsive steering. Driver # 2 reaches over to adjust the volume control on his stereo. The loss of attention to the road causes the car to lurch slightly from a straight-line path, so a cop that’s been tailing him pulls him over alleging driver impairment. Driver # 2 is also a medical marijuana patient who tests positive for cannabis. For his non-crime, his driving privileges are suspended, and he becomes a documented criminal in the eyes of the white supremacist culture that has issued the drugged driving rules.

    With these types of drugged driving laws, there can be no justice when so many thousands of bigots carry a badge. There are simply too many ways to use drugged driving enforcement as a basis for some unrelated, nefarious purpose. The plan appears to be another end run around the 4th Amendment, one designed to water down probable cause such that it gives bigots with badges the right to a legitimized, arbitrary invasion of ordinary people’s lives.

  • thelbert

    odd that they don’t want oulaw automobiles since they are so dangerous. i think they are turning a blind eye to the manufacturers of deadly machinery. but i like the idea that a sick person has to have her blood analysed before she can be presumed innocent. that’s real “land of the free” logic there. if there’s anything we need in prison it’s more old sick people. at least that’s what a lot of our legislators and prosecutors seem to think. that’s what’s cool about having unlimited funds, you don’t have to set priorities, or think about consequences. plus there is no nit too small to be left unpicked.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    C’mon Pete, you know how flipping hard it is to find potheads who screwed up driving after enjoying cannabis. I recall the ONDCP making a big deal over a man in PA who was charged with vehicular manslaughter after a drunk rear ended him in a controlled intersection. The drunken driver died. Of course they’re going to trot out a cases like these as an object lesson to fear monger “drugged” driving. It’s all they freakin’ have to work with. Still, it’s analogous to bluffing a pair of 2s with a 5 high.

    It will be fun when they “associate” “drugged” driving with medicinal cannabis. Don’t worry, that’s already in progress. Grand Traverse County’s finest busted a person that’s registered with the patient registry and apparently fully in compliance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. (MMMA) Yes, the State of Michigan really does spell the word with an H.

    This act shall not permit any person to do any of the following:
    :
    :
    (4) Operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marihuana.

    Michigan has one of those zero tolerance for making the police and district attorney’s office actually have to gather and present proof of impairment laws. As most of us know, the result was to define “impaired” driving as a result of any detectable amount of THC cooh in their bodies. But the MMMA seems to require proof of impairment. I’m a little disappointed here. That part of the law really is poorly written if all the legislature has to do is to codify the the phrase “under the influence” to mean whatever they want it to mean. Anyhow, it’s going to the Michigan Court of Appeals because the local Courts said they have to prove impairment even though it means doing some actual work to accomplish that. The cops are arguing that such a restriction would serve to prevent them from enforcing the laws that they like instead of how the laws were written.

    Now just wait a cotton picking minute. It says here:
    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2010/jun/11/drugged_driving_michigan_supreme that in June of 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that THC cooh couldn’t be used as proof of “intoxication”. Now I’m even more confused.

    “We hold that 11-carboxy-THC is not a schedule 1 controlled substance under MCL 333.7212 [controlled substances act] and, therefore, a person cannot be prosecuted under MCL 257.625(8) [drugged driving act] for operating a motor vehicle with any amount of 11-carboxy-THC in his or her system,” read the opinion.

    The opinion, largely a demolition of the previous Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in People v. Derror that marijuana metabolites are a controlled substance, thus allowing for drugged driving convictions based solely on their presence, noted that Michigan is now a medical marijuana state and that allowing Derror to stand would unfairly impact medical marijuana patients.

    My fellow cannabinoidians in Michigan have started the process to recall Bill Schuette, Michigan’s attorney general. Like we used to chant at my high school’s football games, rip ’em rack ’em wreck them rectums get that ball and really fight!
    ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
    Geezus, I thought that the authorities in California and Montana were as corrupt as one can get until the MMMA was passed. I don’t think that even Sheriff Joe down there in Arpaio County, Arizona will be able to outdo the dastardly deeds of the dickheads in Detroit. But I guess I’ll just have to give him a chance. He is in the elite level of foaming at the mouth reactionaries. If anyone can do it Sheriff Joe is certainly the man for the job.

    ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
    I’m not quite sure exactly what I think of defining eating cannabis as an instrument of torture. But somehow I think this that putting these criminals on trial will be very popular in the flyover States:

    2 Border Patrol agents charged with civil rights violations

    Pair accused of abusing 4 Mexican nationals in 2008

    http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/080411_borderpatrol_agents_indicted/2-border-patrol-agents-charged-with-civil-rights-violations/

    ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
    (“Help”! I’m “running” “out” of “space” for “redefined” words. “Will” “anyone” be “able” to “understand” “what” I’m “saying” if “we” “continue” to “allow” the “adherents” of the “Humpty” “Dumpty” “school” of “sophistry” to “keep” re-“defining” “words” to “suit” “their” “self” “serving” “agenda”?)

  • Servetus

    As if on cue, drug testing inaccuracy is coming under fire:

    “… two US superior court judges – one in Washington, DC, another in Colorado – are raising questions about whether the federal Drug Enforcement [Administration] (DEA) and police departments are using ‘pseudo-scientific’ drug identification methods to bust hundreds of thousands of suspected drug users, many of them inner-city minority kids.”

    The drug test being critiqued is the standard Duquenois-Levine test:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/04/marijuana-flawed-test

  • vickyvampire

    I don’t know if you guys linked this article yet or covered it before about bereaved father who has dead son blames it on drugged driving calls no zero tolerance and conservatives on Freerepublic have some interesting comments regarding resent story like what if Marijuana is legal in your state or Prescription Drugs in your systems while driving,they also state what about pilots who use drugs similar to amphetamines to stay awake on bombing runs.
    This man adds to belief of the pseudo science.
    This heartbroken gentlemen I get his horrid grief but remedy is ridiculous he wants folks to drive with no drug in there systems most folks in America and elsewhere are on meds for a whole variety of reasons,he seems rather determined to followed up and be an activist on this I guess.

    He cannot see threw fog of pain that millions drive medicated without problems,for years.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2739084/posts

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