In MMJ Age, How High Is Too High To Drive?
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In MMJ Age, How High Is Too High To Drive?
Posted by CN Staff on April 12, 2012 at 05:53:56 PT
By Maggie Clark
Source: Bellingham Herald
Washington -- Twelve years after Colorado legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, more than 85,000 people have been certified by the state health department to use it. Now, there is increasing concern about a rise in traffic accidents caused by people under the influence of marijuana. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 300 fatal accidents involved drivers who tested positive for cannabis, according to the Colorado Department of Highway Safety. That's why Republican state Sen. Steve King wants Colorado to set a legal limit for marijuana intoxication, somewhat similar to the 0.08 percent blood alcohol limit states put on driving under the influence of alcohol. And in California, Democratic Assemblywoman Norma Torres wants to set a zero-tolerance ban on driving under the influence of any drug, including marijuana.
But bills put forward by both King and Torres have run into opposition from those who say the science around what marijuana does to the body and mind is not conclusive enough to set a legal limit. In Colorado, critics also note that King's approach would cost the state public defender's office about $600,000 per year to defend those accused of "drugged driving" charges. Yet concerns over cannabis intoxication won't go away. Voters in Colorado and Washington state will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana use, while a dozen more states are considering legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. In this explainer, Stateline examines the research surrounding marijuana and road safety, and explores why it's so difficult to say how high is too high to drive. How does marijuana affect the body? The active ingredient in marijuana is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Whether marijuana is ingested through smoking or eating, THC rapidly goes through the bloodstream to the brain. In the brain, THC slows down receptors that communicate brain functions between synapses, throwing the brain's natural information flow off balance. Users experience diminished pain sensitivity, which explains marijuana's medicinal purpose. But users also experience slowed reaction time, impaired memory function, impaired coordination and altered judgment. How does marijuana's effect on drivers compare to alcohol?Snipped Complete Article: Bellingham Herald (WA)Author: Maggie ClarkPublished: April 12, 2012Copyright: 2012 Bellingham HeraldContact: letters bellinghamherald.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 12, 2012 at 12:46:30 PT:
Fatal accidents "involved" in pot intoxicatio
The evidence Marijuana causes traffic accidents is inconclusive. Is the government jumping to conclusions that fatal accidents were caused by Marijuana intoxication? Had the drivers been under the influence of other drugs, such as alcohol? The government seems to jump to conclusions from the statistics that drivers in accidents had used Marijuana to a "fact" that Marijuana intoxication caused the accident. The government tries to blame the Marijuana much like the government tries to blame raw milk farmers when people become sick,, without doing a thing about the people whom have DIED from pasteurized milk! Pro-government scientists put a spin on water Fluoridation, too. And they deny vaccinations side-effects. Whatever suits the government, the liberal media goes along with it. In this case, its great for LAW ENFORCEMENT. But cops only solve 10% to 20% of the problems, are trained to lie, and are very expensive to the people. Problem is, fatal traffic accidents from Cannabis intoxication alone has not been conclusively demonstrated! Sure, alcohol intoxication causes fatal traffic accidents. Jumping to conclusions about Marijuana intoxication traffic accidents is an outstanding method of convincing the people to obstruct our efforts to end Marijuana Prohibition!! 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 12, 2012 at 08:40:16 PT
Simple: don't cage drivers who can walk the line.
If a person is an honest danger on the road, I'd like them stopped.If a driver can walk the line they should not be put in a cage. Many people with more than 5 nano's of THC can drive safe and walk any line; what kind of person wants to cage them?Prohibitionists who are comfortable discriminating against other people, THAT'S WHO.And for the people who want ZERO tolerance, that means they want to cage a person who smoked some God-given plant material last week. That is just plain ignorant but worse it's a BAD PERSON that has some power.
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