More on stoned driving

I know I harp on this a lot at Drug WarRant, but I consider it important – the war on stoned driving has had little to do with highway safety, but rather functions as a back-door way to punish marijuana users, and as a scare tactic to prevent legalization.

Yes, being stoned can affect your driving, and so can texting, or being tired, or being upset, or being distracted by a passenger, or… It’s important to keep relative dangers in perspective, and go after actual impairment.

Nice to see The Truth About Driving While Stoned by Abby Haglage. She also dismantles the dishonest piece in USA today by Matt Schmitz and Chris Woodyard.

And while I certainly have had my disagreements with Mark Kleiman, he does a fairly nice job here:

“You shouldn’t be driving stoned,” says Kleiman. “But there are many things that will degrade driving just as much if not more—having a 4-year-old in your back seat, sleepiness, texting.”

Beyond the relative risk associated with marijuana, Kleiman says blood is not a good proxy for how stoned you are. “It’s almost impossible not to be guilty of driving while stoned if you smoke. The fact that THC is fat soluble and then comes back out in your bloodstream means you can be THC positive when you’re not impaired at all,” he says. “There’s no way to tell if you’re breaking the law—that seems unjust.”

Naturally, Kevin had to chime in with his usual nonsense, misusing statistics that sound scary, but are anything but.

In Sabet’s eyes, it’s anything but safe. “Science has determined that cannabis intoxication doubles your risk of a car crash. Despite this scientifically valid fact, people are not getting this message,” he says. […]

But NIDA’s claim that marijuana use increases the likelihood of an accident is contradicted in some of the government’s own research.

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38 Responses to More on stoned driving

  1. claygooding says:

    The answer to Kev-Kev’s fact that marijuana smoking can double your chances of having an accident,,,so does driving 5 mph over the speed limit according to the DOT.NHTSB and other statistic gatherers.
    There are a lot more people driving too fast than there are stoned so that makes stoned driving safer than driving fast.

    • Kevin never, never will put his supposed “facts” in comparative terms because his entire argument would disappear to insignificance. You can’t scare people about pot by telling them the truth and putting it into proper proportion and perspective.

      The Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention found that the odds ratio for the likelihood of a marijuana positive driver being culpable in a traffic accident compared to a drug-negative driver to be on par with penicillin and antihistamines.

      Mark Kleiman compares the danger to having a 4 year old in the back seat.

      Kevin just says you’ll increase double your crash rate and drops it at that. Taking your allergy medicine can be just as dangerous, but who wants that much understanding when you are trying to deceive and scare?

      I think Kevin skipped his classes on comparative analysis.

  2. claygooding says:

    How did casino interests get mixed up in marijuana debate?

    “”So what’s a Las Vegas casino mogul doing in the middle of Florida’s medical marijuana debate?

    Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Las Vegas Sands, donated $2.5 million this month to the Drug Free Florida Committee, which was formed to oppose the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Florida, an issue state voters will decide in November by referendum.

    Adelson doesn’t live in Florida, and he is a huge supporter of research that supports using marijuana to treat debilitating diseases.

    He and his wife, Miriam, are the principal benefactors of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at Tel Aviv University.

    “Marijuana has long been known to relieve pain and nausea, but the medical benefits may in fact be much more significant,” the center reported. “Researchers at the Adelson Center are finding major medical properties in marijuana that could affect the way neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries are treated.”

    So you would think if Adelson was going to throw his money around in Florida on the marijuana issue, it would be to support medicinal legalization, not fight it.

    Unless you consider that Adelson’s money has nothing to do with marijuana.

    Adelson’s primary interest in Florida is as a locale for his casinos.”” ‘snip’

    I hope no stoner ever darkens the doors of any casino he owns.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      “So what’s a Las Vegas casino mogul doing in the middle of Florida’s medical marijuana debate?”

      He’s just trying to screw up my fun. I was really excited that the Florida campaign was going to be limited to Floridian principals. Oh well.
      OK, I’m really not that much of a narcissist, but here’s some genuinely good news. The man might be dead but his money is still alive and kicking:
      Marijuana legalization: Peter Lewis’ family leads in $250,000 donation to Oregon initiative campaign

    • Think this is related? :

      Feds Warn Casinos to Turn Away Gamblers With Medical Marijuana Ties

    • Jeff Trigg says:

      “So you would think if Adelson was going to throw his money around in Florida on the marijuana issue, it would be to support medicinal legalization, not fight it.”

      Have you read the Florida referendum on MMJ and what powers it actually gives the state in regards to MMJ? I suggest you read it. Its not bad enough for me to oppose it, but it is really bad, almost as bad as Illinois’ system written by government monopoly progressives. The devil is always in the details.

      Automatically treating medical cannabis patients like criminals with fingerprints, state registration, relinquishing medical privacy, notches on their drivers licenses to scare them away from driving, etc is the modern progressive way of “legalizing” cannabis for sick people. This ain’t California medical cannabis, the government is god control freaks have learned that lesson, this is politician controlled medical cannabis and they know better how to run your life than you do.

      But I have no idea why Adelson is opposing this in FL. I suppose it might be better than nothing if just barely.

      • claygooding says:

        Jeff,,he is lobbying to get his casinos in Fla,,I am sure the governor and AG are promising him he will get it if he threw his money into fighting it.

        • Good test for Florida and Adelson. What pays more – buying some political favor or supporting the majority of the voters?

          My bet is with the voters and the REAL citizens that are united in a majority opinion to legalize.

  3. Howard says:

    Says Sabet,

    “Science has determined that cannabis intoxication doubles your risk of a car crash. Despite this scientifically valid fact, people are not getting this message.”


    It’s not that people are not “getting” the message, it’s that people are not “buying” the message, especially considering the source.

    Kevin just can’t grasp the fact that when government agencies have lied about cannabis (and other drugs) for decades, the people are increasingly just rolling their eyes and looking the other way.

    How are we supposed to believe anything from the NIDA (or the DEA or the ONDCP) when their intent and purpose regarding funding cannabis studies is only to find harm? There is no scientific validity when any study about anything has a hoped-for, preconceived outcome from the start. That’s not science. And it certainly isn’t valid.

    Trust in the results of government backed studies on cannabis have been irrevocably tainted. It’s amazing that Kevin refuses to “get” that message. Of course, he has his ulterior motives for refusing to see. Thankfully, more and more, the rest of us refuse to follow the intentionally blind.

  4. Russell Olausen says:

    Science firmly wears the rascals cap. The idea that an unbalanced education system somehow produces untainted fruit is preposterous. I regard science zealots with the same curiosity as poison ivy. Their job is to tell me of my failings and my job is to take their nose and give it a good twist. Hi to all you good folks in Colorado and Washington State. Please examine any scientific pronouncements with rigour because believing your betters has left quite a trail of tears. Course science rarely attempts to qualify one tear to another.

    • Frank W. says:

      We like to go on about Sabet, Kennedy etc as the Dumb Grifting Prohibitionists, but too little is said about the Professional Scumbags MADD. And they’ve been at this since 1980. Yes, the national drinking age is 21, now go home and fuck yourself.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Well lookie here, Mothers Against Drunk Driving gets just over 25% of their annual revenue from government grants.

        BTW that article was set in Canada. Technically the U.S. doesn’t have a de jure nationwide age restriction for drinking alcohol. The only reason that the States all went with age 21 is because the Feds threatened to take away 5% of their highway funds allocation if they didn’t adopt that age for drinking alcohol purchases. See South Dakota v. Elizabeth Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987) for details. But I do find it fascinating that the Federal government can take a substantial income tax from the residents of a State and then extort the State into changing its laws by threatening to not give it back.

        Did you know that Candy Lightner, the lady that founded MADD quit because of the direction that the organization took? I sure can’t question her motivation for founding the organization. She had 3 kids and all 3 were injured by impaired drivers in 3 separate events. Here daughter Cari died from her injuries and her son suffered brain damage. Just to make it a little more surreal the daughter that died was her other daughter’s identical twin.

        Candy Lightner

        Candy Lightner says that “police ought to be concentrating their resources on arresting drunk drivers—not those drivers who happen to have been drinking. I worry that the movement I helped create has lost direction.” She is disturbed by MADD’s shift from attacking drunk driving to attacking drinking in general.

        Ms. Lightner left MADD and is concerned that the organization that she herself created is changing its focus. “It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned,” she says. “I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.” Lightner emphasized the importance of distinguishing between drinking alcohol on one hand and drunk driving on the other.

        But I’ve got a much more pressing question. Why in the heck is the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving a man? Is this an example of affirmative action? What’s next? Scantily clad men waiting tables at Hooters?

  5. HempStaff says:

    At this point there is just no way to enforce Marijuana DUI… nothing can be done about that by either side at this point.

    Looking to work in the Medical Cannabis Industry in Florida? Check out out website!

    • Jeff Trigg says:

      Yes, the government with the guns can enforce Marijuana DUI however they want to. Both sides, freedom versus prohibitionists, CAN DO something about those DUIs. My side is still losing that battle, with little help from Washington state’s recent referendum.

      Can medical cannabis patients grow their own plants in Florida, even if this referendum passes? Nope.

      What is your HempStaff organization doing to influence FL toward making it legal for medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine? Nothing?

      You just want to profit from sick people in FL with your Limited Liability Corporation that helps with staffing the government monopoly medical cannabis industry? Thought so. Sorry, I’ll pass.

      I have Parkinsons. If I can’t legally grow a couple plants in my closet to take care of myself, then whatever medical marijuana law being compromised on by the control freak powers that be, is not good enough for me. That is not freedom.

  6. Servetus says:

    If the drug worriers were really concerned about drugged/drunk driving, they would offer specialized training in high schools for driving while ripped.

    Let the little buggers experience firsthand how driving w/drug(s) affects their reflexes and/or comprehension. The program could be combined with driving on ice experiences (taught in Denmark), or rain-soaked highway driving (taught in the Netherlands), or high speed driving courses (taught in the USA)—since many adolescents want to experience the pedal to the metal rush.

    We know the typical adolescent will try the same life-threatening experiment(s) later if denied by their quasi-educational experience, always in a non-controlled and therefore more dangerous set-and-setting. Chances are the newbies to high speed won’t do so with a new drivers’ training program focused on driving while bombed, or focused on any other driver-extreme existential circumstances that need instruction.

    My bet is that the driving-while-bombed trainees don’t do it again. It’s an intermediary step. As cars are increasingly manufactured and programmed to drive themselves, the problem will evaporate. We have only a small window in time to experience the thrill of the pedal to the metal, acid on wheels extravaganza.

    • Windy says:

      My 20 yo grandson is into drifting, he is taking his car (soon) to a track where he will be learning the right way to do it from a guy who does this kind of racing (a drifting expert, iow). Hubby wants to do the same with his Z-06, take a lesson in driving the race track (not drifting) in his own car which was designed and built specifically FOR racing, just for the experience. On the roads, hubby and I both drive that ‘Vette about 3 mph below the speed limit (in my Prius I normally drive 3-4 mph above the speed limit), and it is not because we are afraid of being stopped, it just FEELS right to drive that slowly.

  7. strayan says:

    “Science has determined that cannabis intoxication doubles your risk of a car crash. Despite this scientifically valid fact, people are not getting this message”

    You know what else doubles your risk of car crash? Having a blood alcohol content of ~0.068

    Guess what Kev-Kev, it’s legal to drive with a BAC up to 0.08.

    • Freeman says:

      Good point, Strayan. Kev is actually arguing against per-se mj dui laws. He just doesn’t realize it.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      It’s not a common misunderstanding that people think that it’s not a criminal offense to drive with a BAC less than 0.08. Excluding CDL license holders (0.04) and youth up to a certain age (0.02) in at least some States of course.

      The only thing that the per se level does is prove the criminal offense in and of itself. A DUI conviction at levels as low as 0.02 is possible but the arresting officer and the prosecutor have to actually prove impairment using actual evidence of impairment. That 0.02 floor is established because it’s possible to test at that level without having even had a drink. If a cop stops you for suspicion of drunk driving and you blow 0.079 the officer does not say, well have a good night you’re free to go. In practical application there are very few convictions under 0.07 but I attribute that to sloth on the part of LEOs and prosecutors. Why work when you can keep your docket filled with easy convictions?

      DUI Per Se Explained
      If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit of 0.08%, you will
      be charged with “DUI Per Se.”

      If you’re operating a motor vehicle and a police officer determines that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.08% you will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). This is referred to as a DUI Per Se. It differs from a DUI in which a police officer determines that you were too impaired to drive regardless of your BAC – that is, even if your BAC was below .08%. A DUI Per Se is typically determined by a blood or breath test (sometimes urine). A driver’s state of impairment is determined by law enforcement officers using their own judgment and a field sobriety test, where they test the driver’s motor function skills and stability.

  8. DannZoidal/goesOT says:

    DIANE ABBOTT lists all the negative aspects of prohibition but still supports it.

    Fucking Idiot

  9. DdC says:

    Ayahuasca and the Godhead: An Interview with Wahid Azal of the The Fatimiya Sufi Order

    in mid March 2014, via email, the Grand Ayatollah issued a formal legal ruling (that is, a fatwa) determining the use of entheogens and psychoactive substances to be licit and thus permissible (ḥalāl) for Shi’i Muslims provided it be under the direction and supervision of qualified experts (ahl al-ikhtiṣāṣ), and that, moreover, such plant substances as a rule do not impair the mind. In the final missive before the decision, the questioner specifically underscored the issue of the visionary component of these plants, where people have reported visions of paradise and hell, and Grand Ayatollah Rohani’s fatwa finds no objections here either. Note that there are no exact specifications, or any lists given, in Grand Ayatollah Rohani’s fatwa as to which entheogens and psychoactive substances are meant to be included in the ruling and which ones are deemed to be excluded, albeit, as noted, my own discussion with the interlocutor began around the subjects of DMT, Ayahuasca and Haoma, and peripherally psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis and LSD as well (Ibogaine was also briefly mentioned in one discussion).

    Ayahuasca Tourism in South America

    A Groundbreaking New Resource to Protect Journalists From DDoS Attacks via @FutureTenseNow

    Changing marijuana laws forcing judges, child protection services to re-examine endangerment

    The Safe Access Daily is out!
    ASA ‏@SafeAccess

  10. DdC says:

    LEAP ‏@CopsSayLegalize
    On #FathersDay a reminder the impact of #DrugWar:
    What Growing Up With an Incarcerated Father Taught Me worth repeat

    ACLU National ‏@ACLU
    #ICYMI:Federal Court Rules on One of the Major Outstanding Constitutional #Privacy Questions of Our Time: …

    Ethan Nadelmann ‏@ethannadelmann
    JAMAICA: The Gleaner’s ed board has come a long way.
    Now praises the ganja reform but says it doesn’t go far enough! … ‏@stopthedrugwar
    Seth Green on medical cannabis and living with cerebral palsy:
    @health @HealthyHopes @SethGreen21

    Hemp Dog Cafe ‏@HempDogCafe via @TakePart
    Science Says: Lungs Love Weed
    A twenty-year study examining marijuana’s effect on lungs suggests it’s healthier than tobacco.

    Moderate marijuana users actually improved their lung function compared to non-smokers and cigarette smokers in the long term study. (Photo: Getty Images)

    Breathe easy, tokers. Smoking marijuana in moderate amounts may not be so bad for your lungs, after all.

    A new study, published in this month’s Journal of the American Medical Association, tested the lung function of over 5,000 young adults between 18 and 30 to determine marijuana’s effect on lungs. After 20 years of testing, researchers found some buzzworthy results: regular marijuana smokers (defined by up to a joint a day for seven years) had no discernable impairment in lung activity from non-smokers.

    In fact, researchers were surprised to find marijuana smokers performed slightly better than both smokers and non-smokers on the lung performance test. Why? The most likely explanation seems to be that the act of inhaling marijuana—holding each puff in for as long as possible—is a lot like a pulmonary function test, giving marijuana smokers an edge over their cigarette smoking counterparts.

  11. DdC says:

    Grandmother Receives Life In Prison For First-Time Drug Offense via @TakePart

    The Iran-Contra Affair 25 Years On Youtubes and Pics
    Backers of CIA-led Nicaraguan rebels brought cocaine to poor L.A. neighborhoods in early ’80s to help finance war — and a plague was born.

    George Bush: Chapter -XV- CIA DIRECTOR

    Bush/CIA/DEA Drug Smuggling

  12. jesus, this brick wall is starting to hurt.

    when in the hell will everyone wake the fuck up and look at the goddam data to determine who’s bullshitting whom on this idiocy?

    here’s what the data tell us:

    — more drivers, more drugs, more drug users

    — more drivers, more vehicles, more miles driven

    — decreasing numbers of traffic accidents and decreasing numbers of traffic fatalities.

    this isn’t rocket science: USE THE GODDAM DATA and stop arguing about bullshit studies!

    • claygooding says:

      The last 46 years has been an overflow of pain for millions of people and even more for the people that have stood up to be swatted for telling the truth,,and truth is all we have,,because common sense is not in sufficient supply to override the sleeping masses.
      If not for the internet and this depression we would never have awakened them,,,now the money has even the sleepyheads waking up,,,,

    • darkcycle says:

      Imagine, stupid us. How DID we miss that?
      Must really be hard, being the only smart person in the room.

  13. DdC says:

    Now it’s officially Mainstream…
    Something you do everyday.

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