Comments by loonpt

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Posted on September 16 at 10:06 a.m.


"According to the Cannabis and Driving report, a comprehensive literature review published in 2000 by the UK Department of Transportation, "the majority of evidence suggests that cannabis use may result in a lower risk of [accident] culpability.""

"The most recent study into drugs and driving was published in the July 2004 Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention. Researchers at the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research analyzed blood tests from those in traffic accidents, and found that even people with blood alcohol between 0.5% and 0.8% (below the legal limit) had a five-fold increase in the risk of serious accident. Drivers above the legal alcohol limit were 15 times more likely to have a collision. Drugs like Valium and Rohypnol produced results similar to alcohol, while cocaine and opiates showed only a small but "not statistically significant" increase in accident risk. As for the marijuana-only users? They showed absolutely no increased risk of accidents at all."

"The Canadian Senate issued a major report into all aspects of marijuana in 2002. Their chapter on Driving under the influence of cannabis concludes that "Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.""

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 16 at 10:04 a.m.

"There are ZERO studies demonstrating that pot makes you a better driver. ZERO. It slows down physiological response time. PERIOD."

As I've said, and what bill didn't seem to pick-up either is that for some people it actually helps them focus and relax. More focus and attention can equal a better response time in many situations. A lot of drivers on the road are stressed out and their driving suffers - they get angry and drive aggressively. Cannabis generally makes people drive more cautiously and thus more safely.

"A comprehensive 1992 NHTSA study revealed that pot is rarely involved in driving accidents, except when combined with alcohol. The study concluded that "the THC-only drivers had an [accident] responsibility rate below that of the drug free drivers." This study was buried for six years and not released until 1998."

"A 1983 study by the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that the only significant affect of cannabis use was slower driving - arguably a positive effect of driving high."

"A massive 1998 study by the University of Adelaide and Transport South Australia examined blood samples from drivers involved in 2,500 accidents. It found that drivers with only cannabis in their systems were slightly less likely to cause accidents than those without. Drivers with both marijuana and alcohol did have a high accident responsibility rate. The report concluded, "there was no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause of fatal accidents.""

"In Canada, a 1999 University of Toronto meta-analysis of studies into pot and driving showed that drivers who consumed a moderate amount of pot typically refrained from passing cars and drove at a more consistent speed. The analysis also confirmed that marijuana taken alone does not increase a driver's risk of causing an accident."

"A major study done by the UK Transport Research Laboratory in 2000 found that drivers under the influence of cannabis were more cautious and less likely to drive dangerously. The study examined the effects of marijuana use on drivers through four weeks of tests on driving simulators. The study was commissioned specifically to show that marijuana was impairing, and the british government was embarrassed with the study's conclusion that "marijuana users drive more safely under the influence of cannabis.""


On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 15 at 11:12 p.m.

Of course I've said from the beginning that if they deregulated the taxi industry and taxis weren't so expensive, more people would use them and drunk driving wouldn't be as much of a problem. You do remember me saying that, right? That is what has happened with Uber and Lyft and we can already see the results. I like to take credit where credit is due.

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 15 at 11:11 p.m.

"Loonpt: If cannabis makes you a better driver, why is their no record of race car drivers getting stoned before getting in their cars and running inches apart from other drivers at 200+ miles per hour?"

There are a few problems with this question.

First, racing organizations don't allow racers to use illicit substances so any sort of use would be kept secret.

Second, this guy was a Colorado Medical MJ user and NASCAR race car driver who was suspended:

Here is a driver who trafficked it back in the 80s:

Now we don't know whether or not they used the substance right before performance or not, but we do know there are other sports (NBA) where a player did admit that himself and many other players smoke before games... I knew some guys on my high school football team who claimed to perform better using cannabis.

Some people find that they focus better, relax better and can ultimately perform better in sports. For other people that may not be the case.

The third problem with your question is that drivers don't need to perform on the level of a NASCAR driver. They need to perform, hopefully, as good or better than the average sober driver on the road. You always make the assumption that all drivers are equal, therefore anybody who drinks the slightest bit of alcohol and waits long enough for it to metabolize, or anybody who has any sort of what you consider avoidable substance that may or may not inhibit the person's ability to drive, should be absolutely illegal even if the particular person has the ability to drive and avoid accidents in their state better than the average sober driver.

Now, I mentioned that alcohol has the effect where it can cause people to make bad decisions. But that isn't always the case for everybody, some people have great self control. I'm not defending drunk driving, people should avoid driving drunk, but some people do have the ability to drive safely after a certain amount of alcohol. At some point, it changes the viscosity in your ears and causes you not to be able to balance and this is the primary reason why driving drunk is so dangerous. But at certain levels, many better drivers who have good self control are able to handle themselves and shouldn't be penalized.

The woman who founded MADD quit the organization when they began to lobby to lower the legal limit from .10 to .08. I'm ok with people who are .06-.10 to have enhancements added if they do something wrong and it was due to being drunk, but I don't think people under .10 should have the hammer dropped on them if they are following all of the traffic laws, etc. I'd also like to allow states to figure out their own solutions to drunk driving, the federal government hands down highway funding that requires they regulate drunk driving a certain way.

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 15 at 7:26 p.m.

You must have missed the part where I said that many studies have concluded that cannabis use tends to make people better drivers than their sober counterparts? Sure, people who are stoned will occasionally get into an accident, but so do sober people. The question is how much is the person actually impaired, and it turns out that unless consumed in very large quantities or with very little experience, the vast majority of users will rarely if ever encounter an issue with impairment and driving.

Cannabis boosts your consciousness, alcohol takes it away, so getting drunk causes people to make bad decisions literally without thinking and getting really stoned often causes people to overly think their decisions and the awareness of any impairment is multiplied. For someone who is impaired by alcohol, the awareness of their alcohol impairment is diminished. Not to mention alcohol impairment is much more severe than any impairment that can be achieved (often with great difficulty) using cannabis.

So it just doesn't really seem like something important enough to focus on. In fact, voters in Santa Barbara made cannabis possession the lowest law enforcement priority, this town has its experience with cannabis users and is fairly educated about the lack of negative externalities that come with its use.

To be honest I don't know about your theory of having easier access to cannabis - some people might have easier access now, but the amount of access per capita probably hasn't changed much. Before widespread medicinal herb was available, I knew a lot more people in my social circles who 'sold' it, or really just helped distribute it to their friends because pretty much everybody was toking in college. In fact I probably had 10 or 15 friends who sold cannabis at one point and they were just casual acquaintances from UCSB/IV. The access didn't really increase much around here, it just changed. People still need to either have a documented medical condition (which is fairly common, but not universal) and pay over $100 for a recommendation, or they have to at least know somebody who has access. That's still a barrier to entry, and since there were more casual cannabis distributors that had no barrier to entry, I doubt the numbers have changed very significantly.

So I would say the overall effect of increased access to cannabis is going to be a decline in everything from DUI to injury accidents. Besides making more cautious drivers, it will draw some people in who would otherwise be drinking, using other illicit substances or using other more dangerous prescription drugs (legal or otherwise).

If you want to start a campaign against using cannabis and driving, go ahead, but I think it is a waste of time, money and will ultimately be harmful to the end goal of increasing traffic safety.

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 15 at 5:03 p.m.

"So when young people bring their libations to the caves for an evening away from the restrictions of the rule of law, it is virtually inevitable that less-than-responsible acts will occur."

Problem = "Rule of Law"

On The Attraction of Caves

Posted on September 15 at 3:34 p.m.


Many studies show that cannabis causes users to drive more cautiously and safely and get into less fatal accidents than even their sober counterparts. Of course extremely heavy use, especially by those who are less experienced can potentially cause a person to drive with some impairment. The good news is that if they are too impaired by cannabis this will often cause the person to make the conscious decision not to drive to begin with - so cannabis causes people to be more cautious in this regard as well. Alcohol tends to have the opposite effect and gives people more courage to drive.

Putting any focus on cannabis impaired driving doesn't really make much sense logically. It would probably be more effective to ban people from drinking caffeine while driving. It would also be more effective to focus on prescription drugs like Xanax and Ambien, people do tend to drive on these substances as well when they really shouldn't be.

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 15 at 10:47 a.m.

That and Uber.

On DUI Arrests Down From Last Year

Posted on September 13 at 3:26 a.m.

Are you close with Kirsten Gillibrand by any chance?

On City Settles Excessive Force Cases for $170,000

Posted on September 12 at 3:44 p.m.

Brings tears to my eyes every time..

On Should Scotland be an independent country?

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