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NIDA and drugged driving

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has been celebrating National Drug Facts Week (“Shattering the Myths”) with lots of things posted on social media.

As usual, the only “facts” they’re interested in are those that oppose drug use in any way, and even then they’re not really concerned about whether they are actually facts.

In one recent tweet, they were promoting their infographic page on drugged driving. Here are the facts as they present them:

infographic-druggeddriving
(click on the image to get the full-size pdf file)

Note several things about this infographic:

  • While drugged driving is supposedly about all drugs (including alcohol), they always spend an inordinate time talking about marijuana, which clearly signals that this is an effort to target marijuana users, as opposed to the issue of drugged driving.
  • “32,000,000 people drove after drug or alcohol use in 2012.” Sounds startling, but what does it mean? How much drug or alcohol use? How soon after the use? Notice then the caption under the chart: “Impaired Driving by Age.” See how they conflate use with impairment? Completely unscientific.
  • “Driving after marijuana use surpasses drunk driving.” Note how they mixed the terms. They didn’t say “driving after marijuana use surpasses driving after drinking.” No, they compared any use of marijuana previously with being drunk. Pathetic.
  • “HS seniors who smoke marijuana are 2x more likely to receive a ticket and 65% more likely to get into a car crash than those who don’t smoke.” Here is interesting data completely out of context, and at best a correlation, not causation.
  • “In 2009, 1 in 3 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs.” Yep, again, meaningless. No indication of impairment, or causation.”

We’re certainly not going to get much in the way of “facts” from NIDA during National Drug Facts Week, or any other time.

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17 comments to NIDA and drugged driving

  • kaptinemo

    It’s really sad to see that folks in government are so behind the times. It’s even sadder when they are aware of it, but refuse to acknowledge it. That’s what all this represents: denial.

    Just as with people, organizations facing their doom often engage in several stages of grief and denial. I can’t tell how far along the prohibs are in their 5-Step Grief Paradigm, but they are definitely deep in denial.

    In this case, the prohibs and their enabling bureaucracies are facing their inevitable historical, fiscal and social terminus. The demographic that was their greatest support is shuffling off their mortal coils by the thousands each day. The ones that were needed to replace them refuse to accept their status as marks in a con-game…and are instead dismantling the ‘con’, State by State.

    What’s a grifting DrugWarrior bureaucracy to do? What they always do: double down on the BS. Throw as much BS in the air as possible in hopes some will stick, attaching to a low-wattage brain served by low-information sources…which is getting harder and harder to do.

    As predicted here, the pols who were not honestly on our side are realizing the value of being so. The ones who, like NIDA, think they can echo stale old DrugWar propaganda will learn to their horror the prohib ju-ju never really worked. The One True Church of Prohibition has competition from the Temple of Cognitive Liberty, and the priests of the former are getting desperate.

    The magic spells (“Just Say No! Just Say No!”), the incantations (“Drugs are bad because they’re illegal, and illegal because they’re bad.”), the amulets (DARE T-shirts), etc. never really had any more effect on the intended targets than buying Pieces of The True Cross did for medieval peasants. No one but the dimmest bulbs in the box are praying to their fetishes, anymore.

    The DrugWar Reformation has come, we don’t need to nail a piece of paper on the corrupt edifice’s door to serve notice. That was done the first time a reformer clicked a mouse. Too bad the folks in NIDA didn’t hear it, back then…but they will hear it now. Oh, yes, they will.

  • Frank W.

    The drug war is a huge chunk of capital and power on the board. It’ll get repositioned but The Corporation isn’t going to remove it from the game, just find more insidious ways to invest it. Cannabis edibles are Sutter’s Mill to the prohibitionists.

  • darkcycle

    Quite the exercise in out of context and uncorrelated numbers. Where are they coming up with that 2x more likely to get a ticket number? That’s a new one on me.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Doesn’t it make sense that people of the personality type that follows rules for no reason other than because they are rules are much less likely to get caught breaking rules?

    • kaptinemo

      Always follow proper decontamination procedures when handling bureaucratically-supplied anti-drug data; gloves, respirator and apron are mandatory, as said data tends to be pulled out of some bean-counter’s dark, wet, smelly orifice.

      (Hands on hips, looking down, shaking head) They really, truly do think they can keep spouting variations of the same old lies and not get called out for them?

      (Looking up at readership) I don’t know about you, but I am damn sick of these guys thinking they can continue to insult my intelligence when I am their paymaster…as every taxpayer is. Time to let the pols know that by telling them that Uncle Sam has ‘cried wolf’ once too often, and lost the target audience. WE ARE NOT LISTENING, and we don’t want to hear them spout this regurgitated dreck, themselves, anymore.

      When the pols start scrubbing the offensive intelligence-insulting anti-drug bilge off their sites, you’ll know that they got our message, loud and clear.

  • strayan

    Sorry OT:

    Pharmacists are getting a taste of what happens when you allow yourself to become part of the drug war machine: http://m.wesh.com/health/pharmacies-denying-legitimate-prescriptions/30986442

    The poor pharmacist seems genuinely confused… but it’s obvious to those on the couch what happens when you sleep with the enemy (the DEA).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I can hear Gomer Pyle saying “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”

      DEA Slams Walgreen’s with Record Opiate Diversion Fine

      06/13/2013 –ATIN – Drug store behemoth Walgreen’s agreed Tuesday to pay a record $80M fine to put behind it troubles that began for the chain when the DEA swept across South Florida closing rampant pill mills that for years drew in opiate addicts from states all over the East Coast. As part of the agreement with the DEA, which has primary enforcement and oversight jurisdiction when it comes to “diversion” of prescriptions like opiate painkillers, the license of a Walgreen’s wholesale distribution center in Florida that the DEA said was a large source of diverted pills has been suspended for two years and Walgreen’s has committed to strengthen internal controls.
      /snip/

      These businesses do their business at the pleasure of the DEA. So what else is news?

      • Windy

        the DEA, which has primary enforcement and oversight jurisdiction

        Too bad the media which reported this, the corporate heads of Walgreens, the politicians, and the populace of America are so uninformed about the Constitution that they believe the DEA has any legitimate power.
        The fed gov was not just denied, but FORBIDDEN by the Constitution to have ANY policing powers at all. None of the Amendments to the Constitution have altered that in any way.
        Ergo, the DEA has no Constitutional legitimacy and sooner or later defense attorneys need to start using that argument in court.

    • kaptinemo

      What’s the old saying? Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.”

      Lie down with rabid dogs, and fleas are the least of your concerns.

      The rabid bureaucratic DrugWar guard-dog that was meant to only bite targets with dark skin shades has instead bit grown-up Mr. and Mrs Wonderbread. The Law of Unintended Consequences, a.k.a. ‘blowback’ in spook parlance, has once more demonstrated itself as respective of no one.

      It would be the height of irony if the generational cohort that was so instrumental in maintaining drug prohibition via political and financial support of it play a role in its demise by supporting reformer candidates they would have spat upon 10 years ago…all because they can’t get their pain meds. Professor Whitebread, thou art vindicated.

  • claygooding

    NIDA and their drugged driving report has followed the same path of skewed statistics and cherry picked numbers for fear mongering.
    They claim marijuana involved accidents now outnumber alcohol use in accidents while completely ignoring that traffic accidents have gone down in every state with a working MMJ policy and legal markets.
    Involvement does not designate cause,,the wind was blowing,,the sun was shining and some birds were flying across the highway,,all were involved by being present,,the same as the marijuana in peoples systems.

  • DdC

    Drivers stoned on marijuana test their driving skills
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw1HavgoK9E&feature=share
    So back to our drivers, and the issue many mothers are now concerned about: children having a new intoxicant to afflict their driving skills. How did the ‘impaired’ volunteers actually do? Well at a certain point, the substance had an undeniable effect on their ability to navigate a vehicle sensibly. But they all maintained surprising control, even at incredibly excessive levels of marijuana consumption. Moreover, unlike drunk drivers, they were very much aware of their state and agreed they were not on top of their game. Without over-indulging, it seems people’s critical thinking can be trusted more with a few hits than a couple of drinks.

    Cannabis use and Driving
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/623
    Crancer Study, Washington Department of Motor Vehicles
    “Simulated driving scores for subjects experiencing a normal social “high” and the same subjects under control conditions are not significantly different. However,
    there are significantly more errors for alcohol intoxicated than for control subjects”

    Drunk vs Stoned
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJJRVleE3_Q
    To test if people function better drunk or stoned, I got really drunk one night and then really high on another night and made this video.

    What if Police Say They Smell Marijuana?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxVuBHMKSuU
    Know your rights when dealing with police. Flex Your Rights Associate Director Scott Morgan discusses your legal rights in the event that police claim to smell marijuana.

  • They’re just trying to get their prohibition fix, and it’s all they got at best in their attempt to get there.

    What they’re not doing is justifying prohibition by coming out with their “See! We told you so!” infographic showing all of the disasters they proclaimed would happen upon “weakening” drug laws.

    After all, such “weakening” has amply occurred over the past few decades with no credible evidence to support such disaster (because prohibition never actually worked), despite strictly political posturing to the contrary.

    Montana Republican dominance effectively overturned voter approval for medical cannabis, merely because we’re all supposed to assume that cannabis legality is harmful without experimental science and empirical data to do anything but counter that assumption — with the mainstream media exercising their typically seriously biased (so journalistically unethical) neglect on the matter.

    Rush Limbaugh broadcasted his opposition for sustaining cannabis legality in Colorado, solely on the basis that someone there (I assume a Republican politician there) says it was a big mistake.

    Outrageously pitiful are the only two words to describe the effort to keep the prohibition fix going.

    Outrageously pitiful would be the ignorance of the prompt need for a public intervention, so sanctioned thugs can no longer be sanctioned, but can get the help they need for public safety. Such intervention could include the prohibitionist “treatment” mindset, so those thugs would get their help by ending up behind bars for rights infringement (an actually harmful and illegal result they caused as a group against millions of actually-innocent people).

    Thankfully, the public is increasingly understanding that reefer madness has been law madness all along.

  • N.T. Greene

    I didn’t know it was national fallacious infographics week. What’s next week? Making up statistics week? Next holiday is the “Cherrypicking Day” — and I’m pretty certain it has nothing to do with cherries.

  • Mad Max 3 Beyond Doobie Dome

    The drug war is nothing more than tricky Dick Nixon’s revenge on America.
    I almost feel bad for people who think a healing medicinal herb is a gateway drug.
    Mötley Crüe is a gateway drug and Reefer Madness is a documentary.