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Marijuana and Driving

Claude Morton
Column Editor

Marijuana use alone on the driver is not necessarily related to an increase in driving accidents.



The New Bogeyman

Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin

Cheech & Chong are a Grammy Award-winning comedy duo consisting of Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong who found a wide audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis. | Photo: | Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Up In Smoke, Pot, Actors, Comedy, Marijuana, Drugs,

The New Bogeyman

Claude Morton
Column Editor

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[Comments] With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington for adults, and numerous states legalizing marijuana for medical use, a new area of concern, or opportunity, is beginning to emerge from the state and anti-marijuana proponents ' and that concern is, driving high is deadly dangerous.

They'll source some obscure numbers that cannot reflect accurate inebriation levels caused by THC, along with numbers conflated with both alcohol and other drug usage statistics, but claim marijuana is the culprit. They'll hope that these sophistical claims will skirt past your skeptic meter, after all it makes sense that marijuana users would be dangerous drivers, right?

Well, from over two decades of experience, I can tell you otherwise, and so can our society. From popular movies to numerous collegiate road trips, we have a long history of stoners driving across country, or cruising around town high. This is not something rare or unheard of, and before we create a false boogeyman the anti-marijuana zealots can tout as gospel, let us examine the data on the issue to help us form a rational view on the ills of driving under the influence of marijuana, if any exists.

I am not advocating one drive inebriated, getting inside a vehicle and driving recklessly because a person is stoned or impaired from any other source is unacceptable, and no one has a right to do such a thing.

This study from the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health's latest report on 'Drugged Driving', found here, is at the center of this new debate on the deadly impact marijuana has upon the driver.

The above study was funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism along with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and finds marijuana increases the risks of a fatal car accident by a significant margin.

Unfortunately, the study does not provide enough data to draw such a conclusion. In fact, I would say this paper is another perfect example of the propaganda our State continues to pass off as fact on our populace in order to justify their unjustifiable failure that is the War on Drugs.

Not only did the study fail to list the complete results of the toxicology review of the six states, meaning they failed to list if the drivers were also under the influence of alcohol (a known and proven dangerous inebriant upon driving skill) or other drugs like pharmaceuticals, cocaine, heroin, etc.'?

How in the world could we know marijuana is the culprit without that knowledge, and what kind of person searching for objectivity would exclude such vital information in determining the causes of these car fatalities?

If we look at the impact marijuana has upon motor-skills, this study, finds long-term marijuana users develop a tolerance to marijuana's effects upon neurocognitive task performance. The following studies below also stand in stark contrast to the latest state-funded study being echoed chambered throughout corporate media.

This study, which covers a good review of the data on the issues from both sides, finds marijuana use alone on the driver is not necessarily related to an increase in driving accidents, except for under certain circumstances.

This study, concludes that the studies on marijuana usage while driving are inconclusive in finding that marijuana use does lead to an increase in car accidents or fatal car accidents. Some studies even found that marijuana use may decrease the chance for accidents, by creating over cautious drivers, something I'm sure the government will be in complete denial about forever.

Which is strange, because this study, from the government, which took 30 drivers out onto urban streets under the influence of marijuana while driving, found the following, 'Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing efforts. As a consequence, THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.'

Having the state use partial findings to arrive at a conclusion, which will have a potentially negative impact upon the lives of millions of responsible marijuana users in our society, is nothing new or unfamiliar to the historically persecuted innocent marijuana user.


Claude Morton

Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)