Mind Closed, Medicine Cabinet Opened? 

Mind Closed, Medicine Cabinet Opened? 
Posted by CN Staff on June 15, 2002 at 11:29:03 PT
Letters To The Editor
Source: WorldNetDaily
Jane Chastain: I just finished reading your article about your opinion on marijuana. Hear me out, I did read your article. Please don't become part of the mindless public which believes everything they happen to read in the press. You're far better than that. Let me start by saying I felt the same way you did not too long ago  three years ago to the day I was involved in an accident which left me with a broken back and three ruptured disks. To combat my nausea and pain, the doctors tried various meds but nothing seemed to work.
However, smoking a little weed works wonders. It immediately stops the nausea and decreases my analgesic/narcotic drug intake considerably. It has literally saved my life. I have since researched the drug and found many people also have the same results. People with AIDS and cancer do benefit with the drug's treatment. I could, with time, change your opinion if you and I talked to each other with open minds. What's right is right. You would be amazed at some of the stories the DEA has been involved in to keep the cover on this drug so that they won't lose revenue. Please keep your mind open. Shane Guarantee Me No Abuse Hey, all you pro-marijuana users: I have issues about the thousands of people killed each year in drunk driving accidents, so I sure as hell will never go for legalizing recreational drugs that can do the same. You intellectual giants want to spend time spouting how using drugs in your house on your own time is your own business, but blithely ignore the rampant abuses of alcohol. You know, that "legal drug" that impairs judgment and abilities, the one that destroys lives, dreams, futures and marriages? Wait a minute, that can't happen 'cause we have laws, and people are mature and obey laws, right? Get real. The laws against recreational drugs keep a cap on the rampant dangers that will occur, because some people are foolish when it comes to getting high. When they do, it affects the young and impressionable, as well as the bystanders. Like many other things in life, it's the few that spoil it for everyone else. What happens when the first legal marijuana user claims in a court case that he can't be held fully responsible because the drug had impaired him? Or he can't remember if he committed a crime because extended marijuana use affected his memory? Or when some adult gets some kid stoned and sexually abuses the kid? Or some chick screams date rape 'cause some guy got her to smoke more weed than she was accustomed to? I'm willing to change my views  after you can guarantee people won't abuse drugs in a manner that would endanger my family and me. You can't, and never will; all the academic drivel on legalizing marijuana comes up short in both the logical and common sense departments. M.A. Wendt Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Published: Saturday, June 15, 2002Copyright: 2002, Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: Articles:Politically Incorrect Transcripts: The Drug War Chastain is Dead Wrong About Legalizing Drugs Drugs is Dead Wrong
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Comment #10 posted by krutch on June 17, 2002 at 15:27:51 PT:
In response to M.A. Wendt
We can't Guarantee you that there will be no abuse of MJ, but what we can guarantee you is that keeping MJ illegal will never stop the abuse. The experiment the government is doing with MJ since it was made illegal is the exact same experiment they did in the 1920's with booze. It failed miserably with alcohol, and it is failing miserably with MJ.You ask:What happens when the first legal marijuana user claims in a court case that he can't be held fully responsible because the drug had impaired him? What happens when someone trys to use drunkness as an excuse for a traffic accident? The excuse fails. In fact you get in far more trouble when you are drunk and have an accident. This is a stupid argument. Get your head out of your ass.You are also falsely assuming that MJ causes the same level of impairment as alcohol. Many studies show that this is not the case. If more of the people who were driving impaired were high instead of drunk there would be far fewer car accidents caused by impairment. I am not endorsing driving under the influence of any drug here, but I know from both experience and from scientific reseach that pot is much less impairing than booze.
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Comment #9 posted by John Tyler on June 17, 2002 at 11:28:05 PT
Jail or no Jail
Are people that are against legalization, then for the jailing and oppression of cannabis users... their relatives, neighbors, co worker, and fellow citizens?
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Comment #8 posted by bongathon on June 16, 2002 at 11:26:56 PT:
Garanteed, right here, right now. i am garanteeing it.
So, now that you have the garantee you needed, how about it? What's wrong now. my garantee aint gooooooood enuf.
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Comment #7 posted by p4me on June 15, 2002 at 12:24:42 PT
So he was wrong then he was right
Now because drunk drivers kill people on the road marijuan should not be legal. I think Richard Cowan could tell you that people that drive even on marijuana are better drivers than the rest of the public at large. You either are a habitual speeder, drive like an asshole, or you have good sense. Why don't they get the speeders and the assholes of the road along with the drunks?Anyway the big story on the alcohol legal/marijuana legal is that the alcohol problem in this country would be reduced if marijuana were legal. Even under the marijuana is medicine rules people would be allowed to use marijuana to break dependence on alcohol.The guy that wrote the letter is half right and it doesn't take some big intellectual to see that.1,2
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on June 15, 2002 at 12:02:37 PT
still more
Wed, 31 Oct 2001
Advertiser, The (Australia)NO PROOF CANNABIS PUT DRIVERS AT RISKSTUDIES had found it impossible to prove cannabis adversely affected
driving, an Adelaide University researcher said yesterday.Professor Jack Maclean, director of the road accident research unit, said,
while there was no doubt alcohol affected driving adversely, that was not
the case with marijuana.``It has been impossible to prove marijuana affects driving adversely,'' he
told the Australian Driver Fatigue Conference in Sydney.``There is no doubt marijuana affects performance but it may be it affects
it in a favourable way by reducing risk-taking.''Professor Maclean said a study of blood samples taken by SA hospitals from
people injured in road accidents found marijuana was the second most common
drug, after alcohol, in the bloodstream.Those with marijuana in their blood, however, were at fault in less than
half of the accidents.``Alcohol was by far the most common drug and 80 per cent of those with
alcohol on board were judged to be responsible ( for accidents ),'' he said.``The next most common drug, but much less, was marijuana and about 48 per
cent of the people with marijuana were judged to have been responsible for
their crash.''He said the lack of proof that marijuana was detrimental to driving was not
because of a lack of effort by researchers. ``I can say that there are some
quite distinguished researchers who are going through incredible contortions
to try and prove that marijuana has to be a problem,'' he said.Professor Maclean said some researchers also found the risk of crashing
while driving at the speed limit in a metropolitan area actually decreased
if a driver had been drinking but was under the 0.05 blood alcohol limit.``Perhaps for some people one or two glasses of alcohol may steady them
down,'' he said.As speed and alcohol concentration rose, however, the risk of accidents rose
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on June 15, 2002 at 12:01:25 PT
Sun, 13 Aug 2000
Times, The (UK)
Jonathon Carr-BrownCANNABIS MAY MAKE YOU A SAFER DRIVERTAKING the high road may not be so dangerous after all. Ministers are set
to be embarrassed by government-funded research which shows that driving
under the influence of drugs makes motorists more cautious and has a limited
impact on their risk of crashing.In the study, conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, grade A
cannabis specially imported from America was given to 15 regular users. The
doped-up drivers were then put through four weeks of tests on driving
simulators to gauge reaction times and awareness.Regular smokers were used because previous tests in America using
first-timers resulted in the volunteers falling over and feeling ill. The
laboratory found its guinea pigs through what it described as a "snowballing
technique" - one known user was asked to find another after being promised
anonymity and exemption from prosecution agreed with the Home Office.Instead of proving that drug-taking while driving increased the risk of
accidents, researchers found that the mellowing effects of cannabis made
drivers more cautious and so less likely to drive dangerously.Although the cannabis affected reaction time in regular users, its effects
appear to be substantially less dangerous than fatigue or drinking.
Research by the Australian Drugs Foundation found that cannabis was the only
drug tested that decreased the relative risk of having an accident.The findings will embarrass ministers at the Department of the Environment,
Transport and the Regions ( DETR ) who commissioned the study after pressure
from motoring organisations and anti-drug campaigners. Lord Whitty, the
transport minister, will receive the report later this month.Last week police revealed details of new drug-driving tests to be
administered by the roadside, which were received with some amusement. They
require suspected drug-drivers to stand on one leg, lean back and touch
their nose with their eyes closed, and to count to 30 silently with their
eyes shut. This is apparently difficult for those on a drug trip.The advertising company McCann-Erickson has already prepared a television
campaign using Pulp's song Sorted for Es and Whizz, the slogan "Never drive
on drugs" and the pay-off line "then you come down".However, if the findings are less than frightening on the effects of
marijuana, they may convince ministers to put more money into raising driver
awareness of fatigue. Tiredness is now blamed for causing 10% of all fatal
accidents, compared with 6% for alcohol and 3% for drugs.A low-key radio campaign will be launched tomorrow warning drivers to take
breaks.The report's surprising conclusions will not sway organisations such as the
RAC, which believes there is incontrovertible evidence that drug-driving is
a growing menace. DETR statistics published in January showed a six-fold
increase in the number of people found to be driving with drugs in their
system after fatal road accidents. The figure jumped from 3% in 1989 to
18%.Dr Rob Tunbridge, the report's author, refused to reveal his findings before
they were published but said: "If you were to ask me to rank them in order
of priority, fatigue is the worst killer, followed by alcohol, and drugs
follow way behind in third."Tunbridge admitted that the effect of drugs differed with the individual,
the amount taken, the environment they were taken in and the point at which
you tested reactions.Cocaine users are known to be alert drivers when they first take the drug,
but then they have a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. The particular
problem with cannabis is that it stays in a person's system for up to 30
hours but its effects wear off within a few hours.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on June 15, 2002 at 12:00:27 PT
still "on topic"
Thu, 15 Apr 1999
Summit Daily News (CO)
Jane ReuterMARIJUANA LESSER OF TWO EVILS?SUMMIT COUNTY - In a perfect world, drivers would only share the road with
sober people. But, given a choice between driving among those under the
influence of alcohol or marijuana, which is the greater evil?According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drunk drivers pose a
far greater threat. The study shows marijuana's adverse effect on drivers
is "relatively small" compared to alcohol and even some medicinal drugs.Conducted by the department's National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, the study concluded that there are many more deadly
substances than marijuana."Marijuana impairment represents a real, but secondary, safety risk," it
reads. "THC is not a profoundly impairing drug. Of the many psychotropic
drugs, licit and illicit, that are available and used by people who
subsequently drive, marijuana may well be among the least harmful."The study didn't look into the adverse effects on drivers of marijuana and
alcohol taken together.High Country DUIDsSummit County police officers say they make a fair number of driving under
the influence of drug ( DUID ) arrests; most of those arrested are using
marijuana."Some people say it makes me drive better because I'm not so hyper," said
Sheriff Joe Morales."But it's still an intoxicant, and it's still illegal.
It definitely doesn't enhance your awareness."If a driver is only using drugs and not alcohol, the presence of those
substances don't show up on the breath tests typically given to suspected
drunk drivers."A lot of times, you'll get somebody who looks intoxicated, but on a breath
test, it shows all zeros," Morales said. "Then, we have to do a blood or
urine test.""It is difficult to detect," agreed an undercover agent for the Summit
County Drug Task Force. "There are certain indicators to look for - the
odor in their vehicle or on their person, bloodshot, dilated eyes."When driving, they may go too fast or too slow, they may be weaving, or
there may be failure to dim bright lights or use turn signals," he added.Sometimes, he said, an officer becomes suspicious simply because the driver
appears unconcerned that he's been pulled over.The agent said he's never seen an accident he can attribute to marijuana
use."But again, it's difficult to detect, so if someone was in an accident and
high on marijuana and we didn't have any of the indicators, we may never
know," he said. "That's the problem."Silverthorne police Sgt. John Minor said his department has seen an
increase in DUID arrests."That's mainly because of heightened awareness and heightened levels of
training within the officer ranks," he said.This year, Silverthorne will send an officer to a drug recognition expert
school for training specifically on such issues.Of the DUID arrests made in Silverthorne, marijuana users are the most
common violators, Minor said, though methamphetamine abusers are not
uncommon."But we're certainly seeing a lot more different kinds of drugs," he said.
"Heroin seems to be making a comeback."There are also certain prescription drugs that you cannot be under the
influence of and drive," he pointed out. "They induce drowsiness, lack of
awareness, slow down your reaction time - all critical things while you're
driving."Like the drug task force agent, Minor said marijuana's presence is often
hard to perceive."A lot of times, if they're under the influence of alcohol and narcotics,
they just get charged with DUI," he said. "Very rarely do we test for both.
It's hard to say, if they're under the influence of alcohol and marijuana,
what they're most under the influence of."Colorado State Patrol trooper Eric Westphal has arrested about 10 people for
DUID during his 18 months patrolling the area. All of those people have
been using marijuana."About a-third of the time, you can smell it," he said. "The rest of the
time, it will show up in ( poorly performed ) roadsides, or we'll find a
joint or something in the vehicle."U.S. DOT studyCuriously, the U.S. Department of Transportation study on marijuana and
driving shows THC appears to affect drivers in dramatically different ways
than alcohol."After alcohol, there was a tendency towards faster driving, and after THC,
slower," the study shows. "Our city driving study showed that drivers who
drank alcohol over-estimated their performance quality, whereas those who
smoked marijuana under-estimated it. This evidence suggests that alcohol
encourages risky driving, whereas THC encourages greater caution."Monitors of the study drivers found that their subjects were well aware of
THC's affects, and concentrated on compensating for them. But that
concentration sometimes came at the expense of other things."Less capacity would be left for simultaneously performing another task,
such as conversing with passengers, using a car telephone, or handling
emergency situations," according to the study.Another problem the study found occurred when THC-influenced drivers faced
routine driving."If the driving task is very monotonous and the demand is low, wandering
attention may result in negligent monitoring with disastrous results," it
read. "( This ) strongly suggests that drivers under the influence of THC
would be unusually susceptible to attentional deficits during prolonged and
monotonous driving."
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 15, 2002 at 11:59:14 PT
An article from Reuters Newswire
Wed, 20 Mar 2002
Reuters (Wire)
2002 Reuters LimitedALCOHOL SAID TO IMPAIR DRIVING MORE THAN CANNABISLONDON, - Motorists who smoke a cannabis joint retain more control behind
the wheel than those who drink a glass of wine, a science magazine said on
Wednesday.Research from Britain's Transport Research Laboratory showed drivers found
it harder to maintain constant speed and road position after drinking the
equivalent of a glass of wine than after smoking a spliff, New Scientist
said.Researchers who used a driving simulator to conduct tests on 15 volunteers
found motorists on cannabis tended to drive cautiously, aware of their
intoxicated state. But drivers given a combination of cannabis and alcohol
performed worst of all.British doctors last week called for the development of testing devices to
deter motorists from driving under the influence of drugs including
cannabis, citing a rise in the percentage of Britons killed on the road who
tested positive for the drug.But medical experts recommended the British government reclassify cannabis
as a low-risk drug, sparking a debate over its decriminalisation.
You can find this study by going to
clicking on The influence of cannabis on driving
and downloading the full study, free, in PDF format. (110 pages!)
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 15, 2002 at 11:58:11 PT
Marijuana And Actual Driving Performance - U.S. Department of
Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS 808
078), Final Report, November 1993, Alcohol and Actual Driving Performance - U.S. Department of
Transportation, National Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 808 939,
July 1999
ing%20Study%20--%20DOT%20HS%20808%20939.htmCannabis and Road Safety: An Outline of the Research Studies to Examine the
Effects of Cannabis on Driving Skills and Actual Driving Performance -  Dr
G.B. Chesher Department of Pharmacology University of Sydney and National
Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales. Robbe
Marijuana's Effects on Actual Driving Performance Hall
Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Commercial Transportation and Driving Impairment by Arthur J. McBay studies, and articles, many of which may overlap. I apoligize for that
ahead of time.
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Comment #1 posted by Robbie on June 15, 2002 at 11:37:05 PT
To M.A. Wendt
You guarantee me that people smoking cigarrettes or driving drunk won't harm me or my own, then we can talk about the difference between legal and illegal.And, if you agree with Ms. Chastain's statistics about cannabis use being responsible for so many deaths and accidents, I'd really like to see the science that wqent into those numbers. I want to know methodology, other words, I want to see proof of Ms. Chastain's assertions. Then we can talk about the relative harms of cannabis usage.
Leave sick people ALONE!!
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