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Let’s go for a drive

Lee Rosenberg makes sure we continue the important discussion of the nuances of cannabis and impaired driving in a post that discusses both what’s happening in Washington, and his own experiences driving.

It’s well-written and worth reading. I know we’ve had quite a few similar discussions here, and it will be a tricky battle that we’ll continue to have as we work through legalization.

A critical part of the discussion, as Lee notes, is that there are fundamental differences between alcohol and cannabis impairment, and attempts to treat them, or measure them, the same way will not serve the goal of public safety.

The point of my story wasn’t to argue that stoned driving is good or bad, but to recognize that the issue is a lot more complicated than many people initially assume. From a regulatory standpoint, doing things that have worked or been accepted for drunk driving may not be the correct approach at all for stoned driving.

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55 comments to Let’s go for a drive

  • claygooding

    I am sticking with the prohibs forlorn wail of: Driving while high doubles your chances of having an accident!

    So does driving 5 mph over the speed limit according to the HTSB(? right letter gang?)

    first ask them if they believe more people are driving 5 mph over the speed limit than are driving high.

    Any “punishment” for driving high should carry the same penalties and enforcement efforts that speeding 5 mph over receives.

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    • dang it clay, a scale that compares relative associated harms of substances/activities is so silly. What are thinking? That is the wrong message to be sending our kids. What about the children clay?!?! Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if we based our policies and laws by balancing facts?

      I know it’s Sunday morning but c’mon…

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    • strayan

      Look at the Netherlands:

      http://i.imgur.com/1EUj8ok.png

      You could almost conclude that the availability of cannabis in coffee shops has no effect on road safety.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Don’t all the people just ride bicycles in Holland? I’ve heard from a lot of prohibitionists that they just don’t have any cars because the Dutch are tree huggers and that’s why they have no problems with impaired driving.

        The whole thing is stupid. In 50 years the cars will drive themselves. “Problem” solved.

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        • strayan

          Oh my, no Duncan, we can never permit self driving electric cars on the roads.

          We have enough of a problem with the shitty old ones we already have. It just wouldn’t make sense add to this problem by legalising safer less toxic cars!

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        • War Vet

          It’s those damn narrow sidewalks and canal bridges that make driving a bike under the influence dangerous in Delft or Amsterdam because you never know when a pedestrian will sway a little or stop or turn down a side street without looking behind them to see if they are crossing into the path of a cyclist.

          Cars driving themselves: now that can be a problem, “Hey man, I’m still coming over with that cutie-pie you’re looking for –but my car took off and I have to wait for it to come back . . . Son of a Bitch Impala always gets emotional and drives off when the #18 car doesn’t win the race.”

          The Amish out here are a bunch of tree huggers under that definition . . . the stoned Amish on their horse drawn buggies and tractors drive extra slow on the interstate after smoking on John Yoder’s crop.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I read about an Amish guy who got popped for DWI in one of those buggies. He was completely shitfaced and actually had passed out. His horse had decided that he preferred the middle of the road which is what got him pulled over. I think had the cop not seen him he likely would have gotten home safely. That’s presuming that the horse wasn’t also drunk of course of course. But that’s life in Intercourse.

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  • Peter

    I wonder how many couch folk have had the experience of driving along the road quite blamelessly, if a little high, obeying all road laws and suddenly being hit by another driver entirely due to their error? I wonder if there is a collective unconscious generated by cannabis consumption which seems to invite bad drivers to collide with them? Or maybe it is just the less aggressive, timid style of driving described in the article that influences the other driver to cause the crash? Either way, that has been my experience back in the day. Of course there is a third possibility: impaired defensive driving skills which might have enabled avoidance of the other driver’s screw up in other, more sober circumstances?

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    • I’d counter that w/ my own driving history… last accident in 1983 (my fault, cannabis not involved) and last moving violation in 1970. In a total of 4 accidents in my lifetime (rear-ended 2x) none involved cannabis. Many miles driven commercially, no accidents, no violations (including driving Conde’s iconic hemp mural 20′ flatbed truck for 5 years.

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      • War Vet

        Now go knock on some wood Allan -you just jinxed yourself (as I knock on wood to keep you from Jinxing me). If it’s a hemp like wooden product (like a desk or furniture that looks wood like) -does that count when knocking or must it be tree wood?

        Not too long ago I was driving to one of my in-laws rental homes to work on it, going down on not so familiar roads (with a stop sign for north/south bound traffic on every corner) and being really stoned on the expensive stuff made me almost run the stop sign and hit the big double cab truck going maybe 3-5mph over . . . but had I not been stoned and driving a bit under the speed limit, I would have hit the truck. Stoned, doned or sober, I try to drive Mr. Bobble Head style where yours eyes and head never rest, while looking back and forth at every possible inch of the road and the sides and side roads . . . this is the best way to avoid IEDs (not that we have any back in the World here) and men covered in brush or sand ready to pop an RPG in your ass (or front). Personally (though not condoning) I think driving under the influence of about every drug or drink known to man will make one a better driver in the long run because one is forced to adapt for ultimate safety and control –even when the shrooms make the road decide to take a roller coaster like loop or when some large stadium sized furry creature pops out and picks the road up with their teeth like a piece of dead prey and then runs off with it back into the woods.

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        • darkcycle

          Head and eyes alway moving, moving, moving. Helps to set up a scan, instruments-road-mirrors-road-sideview-road-other sideview-road-instruments…and so forth.
          That’s a survival skill that does protect you from IED’s (Idiots and Erratic Drivers). And it’s a skill that has kept me alive through 35 years as a motorcylce rider.
          I’m always scanning, even when I’m not riding.

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    • primus

      Your entry is just a series of ‘what if’s. Go troll in another lake. Allan; don’t dignify his garbage with a response–it only encourages them if they think their trolling has excited the interest of a fish.

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      • I know… but like I am when the J’ovial Witnesses come around, I’m polite, at least at first. If it’s a nice day out I may stand on the sidewalk and chat for a bit. After I explain that dog is too big a topic for my mind to grasp – who am I after all? etc – and that she/he is every plant,critter and atom around us… then I take the offered new copy of Awake and bid adieu.

        And I suspect you’re right, just another drive-by.

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      • well, Peter is a reg’lar commenter, maybe he’ll add back in. First names w/o an image, they all kinda blur together.

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      • Peter

        Er…Primus…was your suggestion to go troll in another lake directed at me? If so, how is what I said trolling? Please explain.

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        • primus

          Yes, it was. You asked a series of hypothetical questions, no answers were given. You cite no statistics, you insinuate a harm yet provide no backup. This is what trolls do. They insinuate, make stuff up, and imply harms where none exist.

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        • Peter

          primus i think you better look up the definition of the word troll as you clearly dont understand it.

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        • Peter

          Primus: the usual definition of internet trolling is the use of deliberately inflamatory and off topic comments. My comments were about driving high which is exactly on-topic for this thread, so we can dispense with that aspect.
          As for being deliberately inflamatory, i have to say no. You may have been inflamed by what i wrote, but that is your issue, and is not deliberate trolling on my part. For all I know, you were probably inflamed before you even read my comment.
          What i was doing was musing on my own experience in the past of driving while high. There was nothing hypothetical about it. The clue was in the phrase “Either way, that has been my experience back in the day” but you seem to have missed that. As this was personal experience,obviously there are no statistics, so you are wrong again.
          Absolutely nothing was “insinuated” or “made up.” That was entirely in your imagination. I suggest you read peoples’ comments with a little more attention to detail before you rush in to flame.

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        • darkcycle

          He took away the wrong message, Peter. It’s easy to do with out the social cues that we get with face to face speech.
          A common tactic of trolls is to throw up fake concerns about the consequences of other’s decisions.

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        • primus

          Sorry if my response was inappropriate; I thought I smelled a troll. PTSD is a bitch; everything is a possible attack, so flight/fight kicks in fast. I thought your entry was inflammatory because you only spoke in generalities, however if I can sum up the gist of your argument about pot and driving as I read it; Pot should be kept illegal so that I can better compensate for your bad driving.

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        • Peter

          Apology accepted, and I regret if I have ever given the impression over several years on the couch that I am in favor of prohibition, or the illegal status of cannabis.
          Your summary of the gist of my argument that “Pot should be kept illegal so that I can better compensate for your bad driving” would be more accurate if completely reversed: Pot should be legal. How can I better compensate for other’s bad driving and what’s my responsibility in an accident?

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        • Duncan20903

          What are the odds that a troll would have referred to this column’s readers as couch folk?

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        • primus

          Peace on.

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  • primus

    What leaps off the screen to me is the fact that the overwhelming preponderance of harms come from alcohol, either alone or in combination with drugs/medicines. Medicines alone are a significant percentage; either alone or in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs/medicines caused the second most harms. It is notable that Portugal, which has had de facto decriminalization of all ‘drugs’ for many years has one of the lowest levels of alcohol and illegal drugs of all. I suspect that switching from alcohol and/or medicines to cannabis has led to a much lower level of use of alcohol and medicines, leading to much lower levels of accidents and much safer roads. That chart has so little information, and virtually no overlap between the two categories. Only Finland appears in both. This prevents comparison. I suspect chicanery. It would be interesting to have a complete comparison of all the EU countries (injured AND dead) plus a comparison of overall traffic safety/person-Km. Then, we could make some valid comparisons. Perhaps that is what ‘they’ are trying to avoid.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    One big problem is that when you’re a neophyte you think you’re driving a lot worse than you are. It wasn’t until I realized that when driving drunk I thought I was fine while actually swerving all over the road and running red lights and/or stop signs. When I was high my perception was that I was swerving all over the road, etc, while actually driving just fine. The waiting for stop signs to turn green thing excepted, of course.

    So the problem as I see it is twofold:
    1) most people haven’t ever chosen to enjoy cannabis and use drinking alcohol as their frame of reference, and

    2) the majority of the people who have enjoyed cannabis never got past phase one and only remember how the white passing lines on the highway would float up off of the road to eye level.

    I just don’t think its worth the effort to try to convince outsiders of the reality. I considered the risks back in the 1990s when it appeared that the whole country was going to adopt zero tolerance of even inert metabolites. Upon thoughtful consideration I decided that it just didn’t matter to me. 2 decades later I’ve got no earthly reason to reevaluate that decision. As long as we don’t suffer the Australian thing of random roadside testing it just isn’t going to affect me. BTW I’m not lying when I say I never drive when I’m impaired. It just takes an awfully large lot of edibles before that happens to me. I do mean an awe-fully large lot.

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    • allan

      first clay and now you Duncan…

      “I’m not lying when I say I never drive when I’m impaired. It just takes an awfully large lot of edibles before that happens to me. I do mean an awe-fully large lot.”

      Are you suggesting that adults are/should be responsible for self-regulating their own behaviors? Including while intoxicated? Aaaaah…! but WHAT about the chillums? What message would that send?

      [for some reason DWR isn't recognizing me today... having to sign in every time I comment]

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Actually allan, I wasn’t trying to say that at all. I do believe that we’re all responsible for ourselves whether we like it or not. But it wasn’t my point.

        But my post above was more a Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” type of waxing tactical. I think we have to pick our battles in life and the driving thing is just not worth the effort required. So what if someone has over three and a half decades of almost error free driving? If he claims that he’s a competent driver that drinking alcohol frame of reference kicks in and says that drunks say they can drive fine but then run over the 1st grade children on their way to school. They simply ignore the 35+ years of competent driving. So fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke it’s now just my little private affair.

        Haven’t you heard of the secret black box project? The government pays the car factories to install a secret recording device so that they learn what happened in a motor vehicle immediately before a catastrophic collision. After spending several 100s of millions of dollars they were able to definitively say that the last thing a significant super majority of drivers said was, “Oh shit!!” The rest said, “here, hold my beer and watch this.”

        Why in the world would we care about the residents of Chillum? It’s not a very nice neighborhood all in all.

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  • primus

    OT, but it appears that there is a huge silence where Gil Kerlikowski, the Drug Crazy sits. Am I mistaken or has he ducked? Actually, government talking heads seem to be silent in general. If not for Kevie there wouldn’t be any noise from that side at all.

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    • claygooding

      Kerli gave that interview in CAN the other day where he reported that America was doing just fine at growing it’s own marijuana,,,still waiting for them to claim that the cartels aren’t making a dime on marijuana because the home growers have taken the market,,and those mega-ton busts on the border are where American growers have moved into Mexico to grow and the agents are busting their shipments back home.

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  • primus

    Allan; how do I get my mug shot up like you instead of that crazy quilt?

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    • darkcycle

      Gravatar will mess up if you are signed in the word press and disqus using the same handle or e-mail. It will erroneously tell you your name is already taken, and the Gravatar people are completely unresponsive to user problems. I have tried several times over the years to get my avatar changed. Good luck…

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    • primus

      She is nuckin futz. That is why libertarians can’t vote Repugnant; they are crazy. Demoncrats are too, however they aren’t perceived as being as dangerous as the Rethuglicans.

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      • Windy

        Problem with that perception is it’s totally wrong, the D’s ARE just as bad as the R’s and in some ways they are even worse.

        Well-liked Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

        • Dante

          WINDY FOR THE THREE POINTER, AND … {swish} YES !!!

          Politicians are all bad, Democrats and Republicans.

          Only sheeple think they are different.

          There is no difference. Any human who wants that job lacks character, integrity and decency. That is why they want the job.

          Protect & Serve (Themselves!) ain’t just for bad cops.

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        • primus

          Your founding fathers warned against political parties. It is the system that is the problem; the sheeple will only elect a party animal because they are too lazy to find out what the independent has to offer. The parties select candidates on the basis of spine; they grab the person by the heels, give a flip and if his spine whips like a garden hose, he is selected. If he has a spine he is rejected. The PTB within the party like things the way they are, don’t want change, and the candidate who has a spine looks scary to them. He might want to make changes. Hence, we have a bunch of nervous Nellie candidates, scared of offending the party apparatchik. The parties, meanwhile are bending, folding spindling and mutilating their principles, trying to appeal to more voters. In the end, all parties move toward the center, nobody is truly a ‘left’ or a ‘right’ any more, they are just parasites looking toward the next election with one eye, the other fixed firmly on the party bosses, not looking at the voters at all. Their attitude is, when the election comes they will frame the arguments, hoodwink the voters and get re-elected. It really doesn’t matter which party animal we elect, it’s always party, party, party.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Well if you like Ann Coulter and you like Cheech and Chong you’ll love watching C&C cut her into little pieces and using her bones for toothpicks. This one is from the “Jane you ignorant slut” category:

      WWE exclusive, Cheech & Chong tag team Ann Coulter
      Lady & Gentlemen, get out your rhumbatron and…Let’s get ready to rhumba!

      For the love of the proverbial Pete, Ann really should have waited until after the show before drinking. If you aren’t sure she’s actually been drinking in the video linked directly above we can see her in another Death Cage match getting tag teamed by Bill Maher and Chris Rock. I think you can see the difference in her demeanor is stark. Gosh, I think that lady must be a true masochist. Every time I see her on TV she’s getting bent over a chair and beaten like a cheap rug.

      I apologize in advance to John Valby.

      Knock Knock?
      Who’s there?
      Tijuana!
      Tijuana who?
      Tijuana take Ann Coulter to the gang bang?
      Cause when she was younger, and in her prime,
      She used to gangbang all the time,
      But now she’s old, so old and uhg-lay,
      She only gang bangs once a day!

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  • Bruce

    Trailer Park Boyz3
    Stoned Drivers Of Canada, SDOC, Rally this Weekend. Munchies. No Drunks. Prizes for Best Tactical Knee and Elbow Driving, TKED

    WARNING
    False Stoners promptly Booted. Urine Tests for Pharmaceudicals Compulsory.

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    • “Best Tactical Knee and Elbow Driving”

      Well gosh, sign me up! (not that I have a clue of that of which you speak) Is there a sub-category for best-rolled-doob during Tactical Knee and Elbow Driving?

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  • primus

    If there is, I’m in. Where is this magical event to happen?

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    • Bruce

      If I were SDOC Chairman the Event would be held at Port Alberni Airport. However, One can expect SPOC would raise a Stink over Cars on their precious only Runway.

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  • divadab

    Here’s the problem I see, which the article lays out but bears repeating: Law enforcement and government are almost 100% comprised of alcohol consumers, because they have systematically excluded pot smokers from employment for the past 30 – 40 years. They see everything through the prism of alcohol. They know alcohol impairs, how it impairs, and how dangerous drunk-driving is because THEY ALL HAVE BEEN THERE!

    And they assume that cannabis impairment is the same as alcohol impairment – because they have no personal experience of cannabis, but plenty of alcohol experience.

    It’s ignorant, wrong, and very frustrating for we who know that cannabis is a natural regulator. The opposite of alcohol.

    In the meantime, my strategy is to drive 5 under, use my functioning signals, stop at yellows, etc. – because there has to be evidence of impairment for a drug test to be ordered. Per se cannabis impairment? What a crock!

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  • Servetus

    California is now considering a zero-tolerance drugged driving law based on impairment:

    State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, has introduced SB289, which would amend the state vehicle code to include a zero-tolerance policy for any drugs found in a driver’s blood. Drugs for which the person has a prescription are exempted.

    Current law forbids driving under the influence of a drug, but law enforcement groups say a zero-tolerance approach to drugs in a driver’s system would help prosecutors to convict people caught driving under the influence.

    There’s currently no way to effectively measure whether a person is impaired by drugs, making it difficult for authorities to prove that someone was, for example, too stoned to drive. There’s also no technology that can help establish safe consumption levels for drugs, whereas alcohol levels can be measured in a person’s blood, said John Lovell, a spokesman for the California Narcotics Officers’ Association.

    Medical marijuana advocates in the state have objected to the bill as being too broad.

    Impairment is a subjective issue in California. Driving a Corvette late at night in some parts of the state will get you pulled over for having a tight suspension that mimics impairment when driving over minor bumps and culverts, as a friend of mine discovered. The California bill merely opens another venue for the police harassment of citizens, and for the persecution of medical marijuana patients in particular.

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    • Duncan20903

      Another political conniption fit. I don’t see a threat, I see yet another prohibitionist panicking. What kind of political environment does Mr. Correa come from? Santa Ana is less than 10 miles from The City of Garden Grove. Some here might have heard of City of Garden Grove v Felix Kha, 175 Cal. App. 4th 355; 68 Cal. Rptr. 3d 656 (2007)

      Review denied by Garden Grove, City of v. S.C. (Kha) (Cal., Mar. 19, 2008)
      US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Grove v. Superior Court of Ca, 555 U.S. 1044, 129 S. Ct. 623, 172 L. Ed. 2d 607 (2008)
      http://iowamedicalmarijuana.org/documents/grove.aspx

      Mr. Policeman, return that illegally seized medicinal cannabis back to Mr. Kha and stop bullshitting about the CSA not giving you an exemption to do so.
      ~~ The Supreme Court of The United States

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      • Servetus

        Santa Ana borders Anaheim. Anaheim used to be the center of John Birch Society membership and activity in California. Then Hispanics began moving into Anaheim in large numbers, so most of the Birchers moved to Idaho.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I think that Mr. Correa just wants a campaign contribution from the California California Narcotics Jack Booted Thugs’ Association and that they just want the opportunity to shoot household pets more often. Those wiener dogs are vicious little brutes with a taste for squirrel meat. What about the rodents? Doesn’t anyone care about their rights?

          Wiener dogs race at Ice Bears game

          /snip/
          “At first it was just pure luck. I mean we’ve been running with him but. We tell him squirrel, and he loves to [terrorize] squirrels,” Suzanne Alley said.
          /snip/

          **************************************************

          Civil forfeiture run amuck:

          Snake-handling pastor forfeits snakes to state

          /snip/
          Pastor Gregory Coots is from Middlesboro. He says he was traveling through Knoxville with five snakes last month when he was pulled over by Knoxville police.

          Because it’s illegal in Tennessee to have any poisonous snakes, they were taken and Pastor Coots has been fighting ever since to get them back.

          But on Monday, he did have to forfeit the snakes.

          Now Pastor Coots says next time he transports snakes, he will avoid Tennessee.

          “I can go through North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, which as you know, a longer trip, but to stay out of trouble it’s worth it,” said Pastor Coots
          /snip/

          Pastor Coots should reconsider. The the Commonwealth of Virginia is no place to avoid trouble.

          Here’s a piece of trivia from “now that’s a dictionary picture example of the word irony” category: George Went Hensley, the nitwit founder of the snake handling religionist cult started it in Cleveland, Tennessee. Mr. Hensley was called home to meet his maker after suffering a fatal snakebite in 1955.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I think that Mr. Correa just wants a campaign contribution from the California California Narcotics Jack Booted Thugs’ Association and that they just want the opportunity to shoot household pets more often. Those wiener dogs are vicious little brutes with a taste for squirrel meat. What about the rodents? Doesn’t anyone care about their rights?

          Wiener dogs race at Ice Bears game

          /snip/
          “At first it was just pure luck. I mean we’ve been running with him but. We tell him squirrel, and he loves to [brutalize] squirrels,” Suzanne Alley said.
          /snip/

          **********

          Civil forfeiture run amuck:

          Snake-handling pastor forfeits snakes to state

          /snip/
          Pastor Gregory Coots is from Middlesboro. He says he was traveling through Knoxville with five snakes last month when he was pulled over by Knoxville police.

          Because it’s illegal in Tennessee to have any poisonous snakes, they were taken and Pastor Coots has been fighting ever since to get them back.

          But on Monday, he did have to forfeit the snakes.

          Now Pastor Coots says next time he transports snakes, he will avoid Tennessee.

          “I can go through North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, which as you know, a longer trip, but to stay out of trouble it’s worth it,” said Pastor Coots
          /snip/

          Pastor Coots should reconsider. The the Commonwealth of Virginia is no place to avoid trouble.

          Here’s a piece of trivia from “now that’s a dictionary picture example of the word irony” category: George Went Hensley, the nitwit founder of the snake handling religionist cult started it in Cleveland, Tennessee. Mr. Hensley was called home to meet his maker after suffering a fatal snakebite in 1955.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling

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  • Bruce

    I’d have kicked my Mother harder as a Fetus if aware this nonsense were waiting on the outside World.
    From
    “It’s a FREE COUNTRY!” (1960′s)
    To
    “You CAN”T DO THAT!!!” (1970′s)
    In just a few too-short years.
    Fetal Fascism nearing Full Term.
    Abort the little Monster NOW or at least prepare, in Defense, to Kill it.

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    • Bruce

      Two Votes for Fascism, Eh??
      siggh Children, Gravedigging looks to be one of Tomorrows most Lucrative Trades.

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  • Former Surgeon General C Everett Koop – the one who called nicotine more addictive than heroin, died.

    More fun news, in the who-says-the-drug-war-is-racist? category:

    U.S. justice denounces prosecutor’s racially charged question

    Sotomayor took issue with the question asked by the prosecutor, identified in the trial transcript as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Ponder.

    While questioning an African-American defendant in a drug case, Ponder asked: “You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you – a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?”

    In the cops-eat-more-than-donuts category

    Wife testifies in police officer cannibal plot trial

    The estranged wife of a police officer struggled to keep her composure Monday as she testified about discovering shocking online chats and other evidence on his computer that revealed he had discussed killing her and abducting, torturing and eating other women.

    and from the even-the-bad-guys-call-the-wod-a-failure category:

    Pablo Escobar’s Right-Hand Man Explains Why The Drug War Is Unwinnable

    “People like me can’t be stopped. It’s a war. They lose men, and we lose men. They lose their scruples, and we never had any. In the end, you’ll even blow up an aircraft because you believe the Colombian president is on board. I don’t know what you have to do. Maybe sell cocaine in pharmacies. I’ve been in prison for 20 years, but you will never win this war when there is so much money to me made. Never.”

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  • Oh… and Oregon joins the fray w/ HB 3371 (pdf)

    Provides for regulation of production, processing and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products. Directs Oregon Health Authority to license marijuana producers, marijuana processors, marijuana wholesalers and marijuana retailers. Provides for taxation of marijuana production. Directs Oregon Liquor Control Commission to oversee taxation of marijuana. Provides for distribution of moneys collected as tax.

    coverage at the WeedBlog

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  • Duncan20903

    The Iowa City Press-Citzen bends over, then reams the Iowa Legislature for “political cowardice” and “ideological obstinance.”

    Our View: Marijuana bills require some political courage

    Back in 2010, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy voted 6-0 to propose legislation that would reclassify marijuana and make it possible to legalize the drug for medical purposes. The anecdotal and statistical information provided in the statewide forums held by the board showed that marijuana already is serving a medicinal purpose for many people suffering from glaucoma, fibromyalgia and many other chronic illnesses.
    /snip/

    /snip/
    Iowa still is in need of a majority of state legislators who have the maturity to discuss this controversial issue like grown-ups. And we still need a majority of legislators who — after looking at the successes and failures among the other states that have medical marijuana programs — have the political courage to come up with a workable, medical marijuana program for the state.

    We don’t think Iowa should be taking steps toward following Colorado and Washington into fully legalizing marijuana. But after the recommendation from the pharmacy board, it’s become impossible for critics to argue credibly that marijuana has “no accepted medical use for treatment.”
    /snip/

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