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Report: Legalization opponents fear more stoned drivers

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Legalized marijuana foes warn of more stoned motorists

08:23 AM

Forget the Tea Party for a moment. The most watched ballot proposition involves a different kind of tea, the move to legalize marijuana possession through California's Proposition 19. The move could have some big implications on driving in the Golden State.

If the proposition passes, it could serve as a model that could sweep across the nation.

While smoking pot while driving would still be prohibited, there wouldn't be anything to stop anyone from legally finishing off a couple joints before getting behind the wheel, says Roger Salazar, spokesman for No on Proposition 19.

Opponents like to cite an editorial from the Sacramento Bee, the leading newspaper in the state's capital:

Passage of Proposition 19 would also saddle businesses with even more legal murkiness in trying to keep marijuana-impaired employees out of the workplace, especially from behind the wheel of school buses or other jobs that could affect public safety.

It also noted:

The same uncertainty applies to enforcing driving-while-impaired laws. The measure has no definition of what would constitute driving under the influence of marijuana, unlike the 0.08 percent blood-alcohol standard for drunken driving.

What's more, the law isn't clear on whether passengers could smoke dope in the car even if the driven didn't, Salazar says. That point is kind of a gray area in the initiative.

Proponents say there's no big worry here. The law prohibits anyone from driving while impaired by any substance, alcohol or drugs. A spokesperson for Tax Cannabis 2010 could not be immediately found.

It's going to be an interesting contest.

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/09/legalized-marijuana-foes-warn-of-more-stoned-motorists/1?loc=interstitialskip

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Oh god. :rolleyes:

The truth: when you're lightly to mildly stoned and you're operating a motor vehicle, it's impossible for you to drive the damn speed limit. In fact, you're probably one of the safer drivers on the road because you're always going 5 to 10 miles under. If you do somehow manage to get into a wreck by some bizarre act of God, you won't be causing much damage. Really, the only thing you have to worry about is pissing off other drivers because you're driving so slow. As for reaction times, unless you're just ripped completely in half and shouldn't be driving anything other than a golf cart in your backyard, you'll be able to stop in time should you need to, the reason being is that you're too damn paranoid about getting pulled over, so you focus extra, extra hard on what you're doing.

Edited by whiteknight

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While I find fault with *any* justification of driving while intoxicated/stoned/overly tired/violently ill, I don't believe that driving should be the compelling reason to keep the wholesale ban on consuming a particular product.

We don't ban txt messaging just because some people txt and drive do we?

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Marijuana use is a very old scapegoat for the moralizing of politicians.

Not a real problem, never was, only its prohibition ties it to real trouble.

By any measure, alchohol is a greater problem than all illicit drug use combined.

It's time we grow-up and admit the reality of this.

  • Upvote 1

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While I find fault with *any* justification of driving while intoxicated/stoned/overly tired/violently ill,

That wasn't my intention. I'm just saying, I would rather worry about whatever else may find its way to the highway other than someone who smoked a few bowls or a joint to themselves.

I don't believe that driving should be the compelling reason to keep the wholesale ban on consuming a particular product.

We don't ban txt messaging just because some people txt and drive do we?

Agreed and no.

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They don't arrest for marijuana in the city of Portland often because it causes more bad press for the police than it does the individual. You can even get away with growing it on a porch of a highrise apartment complex that is facing the main bouldvard. The only exception is driving while intoxicated.

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We don't ban txt messaging just because some people txt and drive do we?

Nice example. Really exposes the flailing arguments of the police state champions.

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They don't arrest for marijuana in the city of Portland often because it causes more bad press for the police than it does the individual. You can even get away with growing it on a porch of a highrise apartment complex that is facing the main bouldvard. The only exception is driving while intoxicated.

And the weird part is that, in some states, a single joint will get you 15 to life.

...then there are the billions wasted on the drug war.

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And the weird part is that, in some states, a single joint will get you 15 to life.

...then there are the billions wasted on the drug war.

and the many, otherwise productive, lives.

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Report: Legalization opponents fear more stoned drivers

by Dan Roth (RSS feed) on Sep 27th 2010 at 4:20PM

Opponents to California's Proposition 19, otherwise known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, argue that if the measure passes on November 2, 2010, the roads will become more dangerous. USA Today quotes No on Proposition 19 spokesman Roger Salazar as saying "there won't be anything to stop anyone from legally finishing off a couple joints before getting behind the wheel."

Proponents point to the provisions in the law upholding current laws prohibiting driving under the influence, but Salazar's group notes a lack of clarity. While the proposal has provisions for the establishment of restrictions, opponents argue that there are no actual standards to determine impairment by marijuana like there is for blood-alcohol concentration.

Law or no, there currently isn't a way to stop clandestine cannabis use prior to driving, and police departments are burning tax revenue to enforce current drug laws. Federal drug laws remain in place, however, and will be in direct opposition to Proposition 19 if voters approve it. The uproar may be a new wrinkle to the Reefer Madness argument, though voters eying new sources of tax revenue may find the monetary potential more compelling.

LINK:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/27/report-legalization-opponents-fear-more-stoned-drivers/

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Why is it so hard to devise methods of determining someone is baked behind the wheel?

Alcohol detection methods started out 'primitive' and are now quick, and reliable. Hell, for now, just pull over a suspected vehicle and ask the driver what do they do if they get to a stop sign. If they say 'wait for it to turn green' then book 'em Danno.

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