Are You Too High To Drive?IB
Warning, here comes another boring post about drugs but at least there's real life implications for us all here.
Last week I saw this post about legalizing marijuana and then finding what the appropriate levels of the drug in your system that still let you operate heavy machinery and motor vehicles. Left me a bit confused and concerned for society in general. Allow me to digress a bit here. Also, apologies for my grammar but I’ve imbibed a bit as I wrote this over the weekend.
This stuff has been proposed in Congress before, but here's a few of the many reasons this is difficult...
“But Rep. Waller says that this bill is different than the previous bills because it allows for a person who has been charged with having 5 nanograms of THC in their blood torebut the charge that they are too impaired to drive, according to 7News.”
What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
"For example, if you did not exhibit poor driving, you can put that on as evidence to say, 'Look my driving was not poor, I'm not unsafe to operate a motor vehicle,'"Waller said during the hearing.”
Cops cannot pull you over for being a “bad driver” unless you’re driving is “unsafe”. These seem like arbitrary opinions about something as opposed to factual evidence.
“Are drivers measurably impaired while under the influence of marijuana like they clearly are when under the influence of alcohol?" That has been one of the core questions opponents of the bill have been asking about bills like these each year they are introduced.
Westword spoke to Attorney Leonard Frieling in 2012 over last year's marijuana DUI bill who described the clear correlation between blood alcohol level and driving impairment -- the higher the blood alcohol level, the more impaired drivers are. But he questions the correlation between marijuana blood levels and driving impairment saying to Westword, "that appears not to hold true as cleanly with cannabis. So talking about impaired driving is one thing, but trying to give a number a meaning it doesn't have is something else entirely."”
This might be a crux of the argument against, as there’s no definitive line that’s a fit for everyone. Sure huge fat guys can drink more beer and be less drunk because they have more blood in their system, but for THC it’s a different story altogether. Exhibit A – “This fact of THC's different effect on the body than alcohol's was stunningly shown in 2011 by Westword pot reporter William Breathes. After a night of sleep and not smoking pot for 15 hours, a sober Breathes still tested nearly three times higher than the proposed legal limit.”
With bills like this proposed, why even bother with legalizing it in the first place? I guess the government has to make money off this somehow, but I wholeheartedly disagree that this is that solution.
*Just a note that Washington state already has this bill in place with the legal limit set at 5 nanograms.
So where do we go from here? Is there an effective way to legalize and tax efficiently for all involved and not add to the absolutely ridiculously high imprisonment rate for non-violent crimes in the process by arbitrarily choosing an appropriate level of weed in your system as judged by the state?