Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dealing With High Drivers

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat has a story about efforts to deal with what some say is an increasing number of stoned drivers. At least one police officer is quoted as saying he's seen more and more drivers under the influence of marijuana since medical marijuana was legalized. I don't buy it. 

For one thing, I don't believe there was a big increase in pot smoking because of medical marijuana. Also, as the article also alludes to, how can they say someone is under the influence of marijuana when it can be detected in one's system after you're no longer feeling its effects?


At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because you can't FEEL the effects any longer does not mean that it not effecting your judgement or motor skills. That's common sense right there.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

The same could be said about just any stimulus, legal or not.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is some crazy shit, just shows that a hatred can make you ignorant. Obviously the people righting these stories have no clue on weed in america. Medical marijuanna has not increased the number of people getting high. it has just stop the funnel of money going to the mexican cartels. Weed has not got any easier to get. it has always been easy. i cant ever remember a day i couldnt get weed all the way back to the 70's been driving and smoking for 30 years and have never i repeat NEVER had an accident.Same thing was said in colorado. all the weed haters said it would guarentee more accidents on the ski mountains. and in fact this year ski accidents in colorado were down by 35% and that is with an even longer ski season from all the extra snow. So all you haters can stop with your phony balony stories. and start trying to end alcohol sales. over a million people get killed every year from alcohol related deaths.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't know that it's a good debate strategy to promote one type of drug while suggesting prohibiting another one instead, but I've seen it done all the time. Interesting that those who advocate legal marijuana often are the same ones proposing prohibition of tobacco or alcohol.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Break it down this way:
For DUI, (alcohol) there is the Breathalyzer Test. Above .08, you are under the influence. Game, set, match.I served on a jury once where the defendant refused the BT so the prosecutor tried to convict on failing the Field Sobriety Test alone, which the defendant did. That used to be the determinant for DUI but now only provides probable cause for administering the BT. (We had to acquit because prosecutor did a piss-poor sloppy job,BTW.)

Now, with pot smoking I don't believe a BT would work the same way and who is going to administer a blood test in the field? That would have to be done at the jail and it would appear that some determinate number would have to be created to separate DUI from "just had one joint a few days ago" if it's really going to be an effective solution. It gets back to using that old Field Sobriety Test, again, with probable cause being the smell of pot in the car, on the driver's clothes, etc, from a law enforcement point of view. But failing the FST is not sufficient for conviction.

Smoking pot while driving DOES affect judgment and reaction time and therefor, can be a serious driving hazard. How to deal with that hazard is another issue that needs more research, just like the BT didn't happen overnight

I know a few folks that don't even think of getting behind the wheel until they've had their first morning joint, or two. I don't believe you could call that using "medicinal marijuana" either because that suggests that a physician proscribed it. For driving? That Doc better have a good liability insurance policy. Who would proscribe any controlled substance drug and tell a patient, it's OK to drive using it? Self proscribed medicinal marijuana sounds oxymoron to me. We're not talking aspirin here.

If you are suggesting that driving while smoking pot can never be a problem, at best you are childishly naive. Much more needs to be done on this one

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

If you are suggesting that driving while smoking pot can never be a problem,...

I'm not suggesting that at all. I'm just not buying the idea that more and more people are driving stoned because of legalized marijuana. The same people driving after smoking "medical" marijuana now, were likely doing the same thing before without it being medical.

Your observations about the FST vs conviction is interesting. It's been a while since I was trained in this, but I was under the impression that a person needn't be over the level- now .08%- to be impaired. If their bac is .08 or over, they're presumed to be under the influence. They might still be impaired with lower levels and even beyond safe condition to drive.

I'm sure we've all known one or two people in our lives that would get pretty drunk on just 3 or 4 drinks. Depends what you're used to. It seems from your observation they've just accepted .08 as proof of impairment, and below that non- impaired, despite other physical signs showing impairment.

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Along this line, y'all probably should read about the professional weed haters. This one is about SAM

We have been seeing a lot of their bs cast the media about as the serious sounding bs it is.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

There seems to be a new Anti-Marijuana Crusade going on ever since Colorado made pot legal. Here's what 51.5 years of marijuana usage says about this: Don't buy it.

When you get stoned on pot and have to drive, you will drive slower if anything when high. Pot makes your reaction times either slower or faster depending on your concentration level.

My wife and I used to play ping pong while high and not high and we always played better when stoned and concentrating on the game. I credit being high to saving my and my wife's life one time when driving along at the same clip as everyone else, about 55-60 mph on a two-lane country road with 5:00 traffic, people eager to get home. I happened to look at a hitchhiker standing by the side of the road with his thumb out and when I looked back at the road, the car in front of me was stopped making a left hand turn. There was the hitchhiker and trees and the car stopped in front of me. Split second decision turn of the wheel missed both and we sailed through a little over a car's width between stopped car, and hitchhiker, trees.

And this heart thing, we all know that marijuana is a vascular dialator which is what you want for your arteries and capillaries. My father's drug of choice was America's, alcohol and he had a massive heart attack at age 65. I'm 70, no heart problems and 51.5 years marijuana user. And I'm competing successfully against Google, MIT grad students in IT inventing, having invented the same concept Google Glass uses in 2011 and now working with a computer design systems tech on two wearable tech inventions that should when produced equal Google Glass in technological impact.

I don't use alcohol or nicotine or caffeine or any other psycho-active drugs but marijuana. I'm doing pretty good for 70 leading an inter-tribal economic development project working with four tribes now, plus negotiating with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, various corporate CEO's and tribal leaders and still a daily toker. Them Feds and lab grads seeking Fed funding just do not want Americans to be without fear as fear makes Americans stupid and easier to fool with tons of mass propaganda poured into American brains each and every day via ads, ads, ads.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

When you get stoned on pot and have to drive, you will drive slower if anything when high. Pot makes your reaction times either slower or faster depending on your concentration level.

One of the last times I smoked pot and drove a car was back in the late 70s. I hadn't smoked any in years and ended up taking a few hits at some friend's house before driving home.

From near the Eureka Mall, out Elk River Road to Cutten. Easy drive, but I was nervous. No problems, but I think my nervousness from driving after smoking pot was more of a distraction than whatever the pot did.


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