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I personally wouldn't want a pot smoker, legal or illegal, on the road. It is certain some 'legal' smokers abuse the priviledge. If they can legally smoke and drive there is no reason a guy getting off work can't legally open a beer and drink it on his way home.
Would much rather share the road with a pothead than a drinker. Usually if you honk the horn they will realize the stop sign doesn't need to be green for them to go. All in all probably safer than somebody that needs a cigarette and doesn't have one.
 

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Stay out of Columbus, Ohio. Since Ohio legalized medical mj I have not made a single trip into the city without smelling the odor of mj coming from a passing car. There are a lot of accidents and traffic fatalities in Columbus.
I'm sure since the smell is obvious, and it shows up in blood, if people are causing accidents while using cannabis, they are getting tickets for DUI. Last I checked, people are pretty bad at driving even when not using mind altering substances, which include many prescription medications.
 

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Blood THC levels do not indicate impairment. A good lawyer can easily get that information tossed.

"Marijuana, on the other hand, does not behave so predictably. Studies have shown that how much a person feels the effects of marijuana actually lags behind the peak levels of THC detected in their blood. This means there is no correlation between the level of THC present in a driver’s blood and how impaired they may be. The lack of correlation between THC levels and a person feeling high means someone with a lower level of THC in their blood could actually be more impaired than someone with a higher THC level."


Columbus police do not often respond to non-injury accidents. If the cars are operable and no one is injured and you call the police they tell you to exchange information and file a report online. In 4 of the accidents in which I was not at fault the police refused to respond. How can a cop determine if a person is impaired if they do not respond?
Those dirty potheads, causing all those accidents in which no one is injured and the car is still operable.
 

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You missed the point. There is no way of knowing if a driver is impaired if the police don't respond.

Here's an article about the increase in accidents in states where marijuana was legalized.

Why do police need to respond to fender benders? I think it would be easy to extrapolate that anything that we don't like is responsible for an increase in accidents. That there is an increase in accidents is a given. Not only through population growth, but population aging. It is very well documented that age impacts driving ability. Flexibility, eyesight, reaction time, medication interactions, cognitive impairment all team up to make old people drive as if they just took drugs (some of them did).

All the people that I know well, who use marijuana regularly are very safe and responsible. They know when they are impaired, and know when to quit to avoid impairment if it conflicts with their driving abilities. This would include an architect, a funeral director, a bank manager, a couple of retired vets, and a smattering of tradesmen (plumbers etc.) They smoked before it was legal, and they don't smoke any extra because it is legal.

Straight up addicts are a different deal. A lot of meth users like to smoke weed to come down, if they need to go somewhere for instance, say show up to court. A lot of people seem to get caught up on the fact that marijuana might be present in some situations that it totally was not responsible for creating.

I also know a guy, used to be a LEO, who chances are, had marijuana been legal, and not had such a negative stereotype, he could have treated his chronic back pain with some weed instead of drinking until his beer gut made it worse. At which point he switched to prescription pain killers, and eventually heroin and meth, throwing away his career, family, friends, and eventually taking his own life. Was there some weed there toward the end, maybe, but too little and too late.
 

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I drive streets every day with cars going from the projects to walmart full of smoke. Not really any more than before it was legal though. See more traffic issues from the elderly Subaru drivers that stop on the on ramps to look both ways.
 

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So if we have a substance that's presence is hard to test for, and we don't test for it because the cops didn't show up, we can accurately determine that it is responsible for accidents that were so minor the cops didn't show up. Got it.

Driving under the influence is driving under the influence, true, not responsible in any case. Under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescription medication, distraction, age, sleep loss no difference. Some people are responsible and some are not.

But honestly I don't see marijuana being responsible for the type of accidents we see from other causes. Sure your reaction time can be increased, but you are going to be acutely aware of it and maybe even concerned, and probably correct for it in a very meticulous fashion. Rather than a drinker barreling down the road cleaning out both ditches and ignoring intersections and oak trees, I see a pot smoker being more laser focused on staying precisely between the lines, their ability to do so being impaired, but the focus causing them to correct, and at some point with enough inebriation they are going three miles per hour. With heavy enough use they might stop and take a nap, or to look for snacks, and perfectly organize the change in the console, but I just don't see the careless abandon, blackout drunk, wild careening at a high rate of speed associated with alcohol use. When I hear things about the dangers of marijuana on our roadways, it sounds an awful lot like a strawman argument. A random statistic, and a very predictable one, an increase in accidents, can just be blamed on a group of people we don't like, and don't understand because we don't like them.
 

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The more fundamental problem is that we approach these situations, from a law & order standpoint, from the wrong direction. Why is driving impaired illegal in the first place?

It doesn’t matter if someone is drunk, high, distracted, incompetent or stupid. As a society, we don’t care about that. What we want to prevent is people being injured by the negligence of other drivers and, just like we do with so many other things, we try to legislate what we see as some of the causes of that thing, limiting the rights of the people who most likely will never do the thing we were really trying to legislate away.

Prosecution and punishment should be reserved for those who actually harm others, not those who only did something that someone else happens to think may hurt others in certain circumstances. Trying to legislate away modes rather than outcomes just results in us all losing Liberty.
Very well said. Think of the open bottle laws. What can it possibly hurt for a guy to knock back a cold one while his friend drives him around. If his friend can't be responsible and refrain from borrowing a sip, deal with him as he is pulled out of the ditch. Don't just ruin it for everybody. Let's face it, open container laws are just one of those, "we can't get a charge to hold up in court but we know they are guilty" type laws.

If somebody tokes to get themselves spiritually prepared to deal with walmart while they are a mile out, what difference should it make to someone that smells it. It's not likely to take hold until walking in the store. It's effects are likely to be gone before completing the shopping list. Another toke on the way home and it kicks in when the netflix stops buffering. Not likely to cause any problems that can't be solved by people minding their own business.

Know that if you experience anxiety from smelling marijuana smoke when you drive through town, that anxiety puts you at a higher risk of being in an accident. Luckily there are things you can take to help you with your anxiety.
 

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Back that up one step. Why do we want to prevent the driver from having a beer in his cup holder, rather than a cup of coffee or soda? As a society, does a driver drinking a beer while he’s driving harm us in some way?

Why is there a penalty for drinking a beer on the way home from work, and why is it the same as driving while drunk? Why is the penalty for driving drunk higher than the penalty for actually causing an accident while stupid (yet sober)?
Absolutely. No reason at all a man should be punished for enjoying a beverage from the cooler a few miles from his house. I have known and resembled many horrible alcoholics in my life. A lot of them drove. Some of them were absolutely better drivers when they were drunk. All over the road sober, because they were fighting demons, not comfortable, distracted, etc. When drunk, they had a good handle on how drunk they were, could make good decisions, and allowed more following distance, were careful, etc. Somebody 17 years old that just downed way more than they needed and rushing home to beat curfew not so much, but somebody that is used to alcohol, or marijuana can make the same adjustments to their driving to accommodate their impaired reaction time as the ones that older drivers make for being old. Can't see at night, don't drive at night. Most of the alcoholics that I knew that drove regularly were on a maintenance dose, and they weren't really impaired. In terms of BAC they were probably off the charts when they woke up in the morning, but it wasn't really impairing coordination to the extent that DTs would if they were sober. That is why the whole thing is silly. You should do whatever up to the point that you fail. If you hurt someone, you should be held criminally liable. If you were drunk, or you hadn't gotten your eyeglass prescription updated as soon as you needed to, it should be considered attempted murder. But open container laws, and some random arbitrary BAC number that means different things for different people are a bridge too far in a free society.
 

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If we really want to follow statistics, shouldn't it be illegal to drive for anyone that is not between the age of 25 and 40, free from health problems, not in possession of a cellphone, after at least 8 hours of sleep?
 

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Two of the worst fatal auto accidents I ever worked were caused by potheads. The driver of one of them didn't even know he had been in an accident. I am happy to say that he got thirty years for a double vehicle homicide.
There was an old guy that had a garage right on the edge of the road near here. He backed out into the road and a state trooper going about a hundred hit him broad side. Killed him and his wife. They were going to church, state trooper was going to a wreck, had been at somebody's old ladies house. The worst fatal accident that old man and woman ever saw was caused by a state trooper. State trooper didn't get anything out of it. Everyone makes bad judgement calls. Some of them live through it, and sometimes there are repercussions, depending on prevailing societal conditioning.
 

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Yeah, using the wild west as an illustration of how great it would be with no rules falls pretty short. We had sheriffs with monarch like powers, judges who played god, vigilantes, gun confiscation, criminal factions posing as peacekeepers, rampant criminality, genocide, oppression, and pretty much every hallmark of societal failure.

In terms of cannabis, we actually need some governmental involvement. This will never happen unless things change at a federal level. The plant has over a hundred distinct chemical compounds that affect the human body. The human body changes these compounds into metabolites that may react, interact, and impact in even more diverse ways. Each plant being a unique entity on a genetic basis, and having different cannabinoid profiles, further compounds the problem. There is no standard dose, or standard profile. Beyond genetic uniqueness, trichome development plays a further role in a variable product.
Sure, you can grow a plant, of a supposed strain, and harvest it, sample it, and then determine personal dosage, and desired chemical profile, but it would be much better for the masses to have some sort of lab tested and rated comparability. What would be really nice, is for Gurney's to carry weed, from a huge clone bank, like apple tress, cloning is the only way to ensure consistency, so that people could know exactly what they were getting, and to take that a step further, specific extracts, beyond the CBD that is sold now (which may or may not be CBD or in a high enough dosage to deliver any results). Extracts could be administered in edible form, much more consistently, pleasantly, and without all the smoking and coughing. But to do those kinds of things, you need real research, and real working regulations, and authorities trying to help consumers and suppliers, none of these are real realities at this point.

Right now, we have hippies, cancer patients, people with health problems and chronic pain getting inconsistent results, because of a few neanderthal lawmen with a Nancy Reagan poster over their bed. If the big pharma oligarchy finally relents, the law dogs will be shushed, but then they will own a branded product to replace the failed experiments that they have been selling to the general public to meet some of the needs that can be better served by a simple plant. There is not a great path forward involving anything resembling freedom, so maybe it is best left in the psuedo-science of hippy gardeners.
 
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