I know I harp on this a lot at Drug WarRant, but I consider it important – the war on stoned driving has had little to do with highway safety, but rather functions as a back-door way to punish marijuana users, and as a scare tactic to prevent legalization.
Yes, being stoned can affect your driving, and so can texting, or being tired, or being upset, or being distracted by a passenger, or… It’s important to keep relative dangers in perspective, and go after actual impairment.
Nice to see The Truth About Driving While Stoned by Abby Haglage. She also dismantles the dishonest piece in USA today by Matt Schmitz and Chris Woodyard.
And while I certainly have had my disagreements with Mark Kleiman, he does a fairly nice job here:
“You shouldn’t be driving stoned,” says Kleiman. “But there are many things that will degrade driving just as much if not more—having a 4-year-old in your back seat, sleepiness, texting.”
Beyond the relative risk associated with marijuana, Kleiman says blood is not a good proxy for how stoned you are. “It’s almost impossible not to be guilty of driving while stoned if you smoke. The fact that THC is fat soluble and then comes back out in your bloodstream means you can be THC positive when you’re not impaired at all,” he says. “There’s no way to tell if you’re breaking the law—that seems unjust.”
Naturally, Kevin had to chime in with his usual nonsense, misusing statistics that sound scary, but are anything but.
In Sabet’s eyes, it’s anything but safe. “Science has determined that cannabis intoxication doubles your risk of a car crash. Despite this scientifically valid fact, people are not getting this message,” he says. [...]
But NIDA’s claim that marijuana use increases the likelihood of an accident is contradicted in some of the government’s own research.