French embarrassed by science

Thanks to Tim Meehan. Info at Drug Sense

A major new French study of drugs and driving concludes that cannabis poses a much lesser risk of fatal accidents than alcohol, according to a report in the journal LibÚration. The study is deeply embarrassing to the French government, which passed a “zero-tolerance” law against driving under the influence of marijuana before results of the study were available. This is just the latest in a long line of studies indicating that marijuana is a lesser hazard than alcohol on the road, and that zero-tolerance standards for marijuana DUI are unjustified.

Here’s the article in French and the study.
While we can laugh at the embarrassment of the French in this case, we’re quickly sobered by the fact that the U.S. government in this situation would simply ignore the study and pretend that it didn’t exist, or, if confronted, claim that the study was meaningless.
Every major study (here are some more) has shown that driving under the influence of marijuana (while not recommended) is far less dangerous than many other influences (including alcohol or fatigue).
Politicians who call for zero-tolerance driving laws (which usually include positive tests from having smoked pot in recent days) have absolutely no interest in safety. They just want to have another way to punish people who use marijuana responsibly. And to do so, they want to re-direct police resources that could be used to target impaired drivers.
That’s not embarrassing. That’s deplorable.

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