Alcohol Industry Tells Congress to Worry About Marijuana

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The WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is causing quite a stir for Hillary Clinton after some of the messages appeared to show the supposedly neutral committee favoring her presidential campaign over that of primary rival Bernie Sanders.

But the emails also contain a juicy tidbit for followers of the increasingly prominent debate about marijuana legalization.

One message sent to DNC Finance Director Jordon Kaplan shows that the alcohol industry is spending money to get members of Congress to pay attention to marijuana-impaired driving.

The May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle, a daily Politico newsletter for Capitol Hill insiders, contained this paid advertisement:

** A message from Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America: While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana.

23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana while Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and D.C. have legalized possession and recreational use. In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana.

Congress should fully fund Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 Appropriations process to document the prevalence of marijuana impaired driving, outline impairment standards and determine driving impairment detection methods.

While the excerpt from a public email newsletter is not exactly a secret like the internal DNC messages are, it is a revealing window into the alcohol industry’s apparent concern over the marijuana policy reform movement’s increasing success.

Pro-legalization advocates have long speculated that as criminalization and stigma disappear, many adults will choose to use marijuana instead of drink alcohol, which could lead to diminishing profits for beer, wine and liquor manufacturers and sellers.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s website calls marijuana policy a “key issue” and its annual convention last year featured a panel titled, “Everything You Need to Know about Marijuana Legalization.” A press release said the session would cover “how marijuana legalization could impact another socially sensitive product: beverage alcohol.”

Earlier this year a similar group, the Arizona Wine and Spirits Association, contributed $10,000 to the effort to defeat a marijuana legalization initiative that is expected to appear on Arizona’s November ballot.

The Politico newsletter ad refers to a provision of legislation Congress passed late last year which requires the Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the best methods for detecting cannabis-impaired driving and ways to “differentiate the cause of a driving impairment between alcohol and marijuana.” Under the law, the government will conduct a year-long investigation and then make recommendations, including for an “impairment standard” for driving under the influence of marijuana.

“There is currently no scientific consensus regarding the level at which marijuana consumption impairs a driver and no effective way to measure this impairment in the field,” WSWA said in a press release about the legislation. “This is problematic for law enforcement who, in contrast, can quickly and effectively establish a scientifically and legally-supported measure of alcohol impairment.”

Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, said that the alcohol industry has its work cut out for itself in combatting drunk driving and should be wary about being seen as impeding cannabis legalization.

“No one should be driving while impaired by marijuana, and we should certainly be doing more research into all aspects of the substance, including its impact on driving,” he told Marijuana.com in an email. “However, given that driving under the influence of marijuana is already illegal and that the existing research shows marijuana’s effect on driving ability is significantly less than alcohol, it is difficult to see a legitimate reason for the alcohol industry to be taking up this issue. They would do better to fund research on how to decrease drunk driving.”

Although WSWA seems to be going out if its way to raise fears about ending marijuana prohibition, it may actually be the case that the association’s members just don’t like the way legalization has specifically been formulated in the states that have enacted it so far.

“While WSWA does not have a position on the core question of marijuana legalization, we do have deep expertise in the structure, management and operational challenges of the three-tiered beverage alcohol regulatory structure- a system that has proven remarkably effective at addressing the myriad issues that gave rise to Prohibition,” its website says.

WSWA represents companies in the middle of the three tiers: Distributors who buy alcohol from producers and then place it into retail establishments where consumers shop.

“Without a similarly robust system, the marijuana market could present the potential for illicit and unregulated activity akin to that which occurred with alcohol prior to and during Prohibition,” the group’s site says. “Accordingly, WSWA stands ready to serve as a resource for states in explaining the merits of the three tier system as a systematic and effective regulatory framework.”

So WSWA isn’t necessarily opposed to legalization. It just seems to want to be the middleman between producers and retail sellers — and to grab a piece of the profits along the way.

Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett.

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Marijuana.com. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)

87 Comments

  1. Don’t you love it though it’s quite entertaining it’s kind of funny actually… they are complaining that there’s not a real way to test cannabis like there is alcohol.. and that’s because alcohol is a straight-up chemical that can fuckin kill you..lol… if cannabis was a straight-up chemical too, it might be easier to detect…dumbasses

    • THC is a chemical as well…. and it’s incredibly easy to detect. The reason impairment tests don’t work for cannabis is because traces of it can stay in your system for days, weeks or months after use and it is impossible to tell how long it has been since consumption.

    • You aren’t making yourself sound very bright. That is also “entertaining and kind of funny actually”. “Straight-up chemical”? Why on this earth would you not think that THC is a “chemical”? And yes, as the other poster said, you can detect THC very easily, but can not determine accurately how long it has been in the user’s system. A joint you smoked two weeks ago can still show up in your system, so law enforcement has no way to know when it was consumed. Maybe do a little research before posting next time, because your over-confident pronouncement was so flawed, it is actually pretty hilarious.

  2. DrugWarResister on

    WSWA is throwing a red herring. The issue with cannabis and driving isn’t marijuana impairment so much as distraction from manipulating the personal delivery device (joint, pipe, bong, vape) while consuming behind the wheel. Treat it like texting while driving.
    Legislators ought to make an honest observation of cannabis vis a vis public safety finally free of reefer madness illusions.
    The real and present danger shouldn’t require the government to invent a new science to analyze impairment as the more evident indicator is distraction.
    I’d rather be passing in opposite directions a stoner not toking behind the wheel than a drunk or the blindfolded WSWA lobby leading the blind congress.

    • I don’t think it’s a red herring. Anybody whose done marijuana knows they can’t drive as safely under its influence. The danger is not putting a glass pipe to your mouth…get real. “distraction from manipulating the personal delivery device (joint, pipe, bong, vape) is no more a distraction than eating or drinking soft drinks while driving. The real problem is testing the ‘suspect’, it’s just not as easy as proving drunkeness.

      • DrugWarResister on

        Jane, if you had something more substantive than an “anybody knows” argument, then we would have something on which to disagree. If marijuana, per se, so impacts safe driving, then it would impair the device-to-mouth manipulation.
        Traffic scientists recognize that performing tasks additional to driving is, indeed, a distraction detrimental to driving performance. Each task carries a risk of failure that requires response thus distracting from all other tasks. Tasks graduate risks.
        You have a “real” problem with “testing the suspect”. Where does that come from? Sounds like a system of guilt before innocence. Do you think that traffic law can develop as a new science and succeed where the Drug War failed? So do you falter and faint from ending the Drug War with its several decades of road-tested experience?
        Sorry, Jane, it’s a red herring.

        • You’re entitled to your opinion. But I believe that everyone that’s inbibed in marijuana has experienced its psychoactive effects, which makes driving under its influence unsafe.

          My Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘red-herring’ as “something unimportant that is used to stop people from noticing or thinking about something important.” The following are just some of the psychoactive effects of marijuana, which I just can’t think of as ‘unimportant’ as they relate to one’s ability/inability to drive safely:

          • Altered perception

          • Change in mood
          
• Relaxation
          
• Euphoria
          
• Altered sense of time and space

          • Impaired memory (high doses)
          
• Paranoia/Anxiety (high doses)

          • Auditory/visual illusions (high doses)

          • Hallucinations (very high doses)

          I can only hope that others would not think of impaired and/or intoxicated driving as unimportant, whether it be caused by alcohol or marijuana.

          • DrugWarResister on

            No disagreement on importance of safe driving. But after 80 years of reefer madness and Drug Warriors calling the plays, we need a new perspective that accommodates legal cannabis in responsible society.
            There are more differences between cannabis and alcohol than the similarity of place and time of recreation including driving. The old, alcohol-impaired driving paradigm doesn’t apply to cannabis, in spite of nanny-state rhetoric.
            As we lift restrictions on cannabis research, scientific methods are soon to determine the level of driving impairment by the categories of possible symptoms of consuming cannabis that you list.

          • We’re trying to get cannabis legalized for the medical aspects-if it’s just the recreational, then that’s the high thc indica strains you have to worry about, which is what gets you high, the thc is the part of the plant which gets you high-if it’s the medical, then it’s high cbd sativas & hybrids & that’s what we’re trying to get legal

          • I’m pretty amazed at the intensive ‘recreational’ effects of these strains high in CBD’s and even higher in CBD’s than THC. 🙂

          • Ive driven Stoned going on 10 years, and never an incident. Once I did get pulled over but the cop was cool about it, he didnt trip on the smoke in the car and I was issued a verbal warning. (Thanks Beach cities Ca). I am a calmer driver while im stoned.

          • being high and driving is LESS dangerous than watching a DVD or talking on the damn phone AND driving

          • In FACT, Jane..
            the NHTSA DID test marijuana-influenced drivers over 15 YEARS ago.. and you know what the FINDINGS were??
            “Impaired” by pot, drivers drove MORE CAREFULLY than they did cold-stone-sober & straight!!
            Might want to research something, before you shotgun your feet off.

          • You’d have to be a fool to believe a drug-intoxicated person could drive safer than a sober one. (But it was good for a laugh) 🙂

          • Absolutely no one should drive under the influence of ANYTHING that causes impairment BUT there are people on medical cannabis that take it everyday and DON’T have ANY type of high, and go to work and function as anyone else.

      • Charles N. Sanders on

        Yo Jane…I don’t buy into that at all. I am a Vietnam Veteran, in my 50th year of consuming cannabis. I am a Prostate Cancer Survivor twice offer. It may not work for everybody but people shouldn’t be put in jail for something that hasn’t killed anybody versus alcohol and tobacco and opiates. I ski, cycle and inline skate so what were you implying about motor skills? Maybe you are speaking for yourself not the masses

        • “Fatal accidents involving stoned drivers have soared in the state of Washington since marijuana was legalized there, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.” “Pot was involved in 17% of fatal crashes in Washington in 2014, up from 8% in 2013 — the year before recreational marijuana was allowed there.” Read all about it… http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/10/news/stoned-driving-fatal-accidents/

          Just Google “stoned drivers” or some such thing and you’ll see all the evidence you need to be factual….

          • DrugWarResister on

            The Washington State Traffic Safety Commission says there were, in total, 429 fatal crashes in 2014 up from 422 in 2010. That’s an increase of 1.7 percent.
            Of those, cases of drivers who tested positive for pot rose from 78 in 2010 to 86 in 2014. That’s an increase of about 10 percent.
            In fact, when it comes to deadly accidents where the driver tested positive for cannabis, “most” had also consumed alcohol or other drugs.
            (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cbs-news-caught-blatanlty-distorting-cannabis-study-legal-pot-doubles-fatal-car-crashes).
            But, in the same 5-year interval only 56 of all drivers involved in fatal accidents had THC and only THC, nothing else.
            And this raises the question of how many of those “involved” drivers were actually at fault and not trying to manipulate the pipe.

          • I would say you have a point …until you insinuated that fiddling with the pipe may have caused the fatality. That’s like wondering if pouring the drink had more to do with a fatality than the drunk driver. Fifty-six fatalities due to THC sounds pretty awful to me.

            Ah well…I just hope in the end the law gets it right and is not unfair. I just know that THC and driving do not go well together and the reason should be obvious.

          • Mind you I have never thought it was a good idea to get high and drive. Having said that, you’re assuming the fatalities were caused by the consumption of cannabis. It’s an assumption, at best. Remember: Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

          • Why do you say you never thought it was a good idea to drive and get high…and then you say that not so good idea is “lies, damn lies, and statistics”? You contradict yourself.

            Are you saying that driving while high is dangerous or not dangerous? Which one?

          • Jane, I said I dont think it’s a good idea to get high and drive (not vice versa). And I dont. Because if I’m really high, yeah, my mind has been altered. Altering my mind is sorta the point, in the case of recreational cannabis. 😉 BUT it is a personal choice to wait until I’m not completely baked to get behind a wheel. I feel safer that way.

            But my experience is that everyone is different,; a joint for me might be the equivalent of two for someone else. I don’t dictate what others do, just what I do. It’s called taking responsibility for myself.

            For the record, I am NOT using statistics, which can be misleading and even misused (and often are). I use my own experience to talk about this. I mistrust the numbers around cannabis precisely because the powers that be have an agenda and know how to use statistics to support their desired outcome.

            Thanks!

          • “…it is a personal choice to wait until I’m not completely baked to get behind a wheel.”

            That’s a rather strange way of putting it. In other words, you’ll get behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated with MJ, but not ‘completely baked’. That’s not safe for others on the road any more than it’s safe for the “not completely drunk” person to be driving. God help us.

          • DrugWarResister on

            http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/07/alcohol-industry-tells-congress-to-worry-about-marijuana/#comments

            He’s saying there are limitations to proving that the 56 fatalities are due to THC. One has to rule out all other causes of the fatalities and show that fatality occurs every time THC is present. Though THC is present, it doesn’t always result in fatality.

            Ruling out other causes is what I mean by the presence of some random driving-preformance impairment like manipulating the pipe and falsely concluding that the presence of THC caused a fatality.

            Therefore, as both conditions are empirically false, it is not provable that the 56 fatalities are “due to THC”.

          • I believe it will be some time before we can prove (say for sure) that THC in the system was the definite cause of an accident. It’s akin to the problem we have with knowing the actual ‘dose’ of THC in edibles. These things just can’t be known yet. And it will be much harder to prove, as unlike alcohol, THC shows up in the system for many weeks after its psychoactive effects have disappeared. So all I can say is that for the time being, folks using MJ should police themselves so that others are not injured or killed because of their irresponsible use of MJ.

          • Jane, if cannabis is such a scourge on the roads, why have traffic fatalities in California fallen by approx 31% in California since they legalized medical cannabis?

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2014/02/17/if-medical-marijuana-laws-cause-a-surge-in-drugged-driving-deaths-why-are-fatalities-falling/#5da0ea6f5d42

            Why are the test results from the largest most carefully controlled study on the topic conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying the following?

            “The study looked at more than 3,000 drivers involved in crashes over a 20-month period in Virginia Beach, Va., measuring which substances — if any — were in their systems at the time of the accident. The study also included 6,000 control drivers in the same area over the same time period who were not involved in any accidents.

            “It was the most closely controlled study of its kind that has ever been conducted,” Trowbridge says.

            Unsurprisingly, the results showed that drivers with alcohol in their systems were far more likely to crash. Adjusted for age and gender, the study found a driver with a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit, is four times as likely to crash as a driver with no alcohol in his or her body. When BAC hits .15, drivers are 12 times as likely to get into an accident.

            What’s more unexpected, the odds — adjusted for age and gender — of a driver with THC in his or her system crashing are only 5% higher than those of a sober driver.”

            Source:
            http://college.usatoday.com/2015/02/17/new-study-shows-no-link-between-marijuana-use-and-car-accidents/

          • Statistics won’t change my mind about marijuana being a psychoactive drug, which certainly can and does impair folks who use it. Just common sense. And nobody will ever convince me that marijuana use is good for drivers and others on the road.

          • Pretty lame response. In other words Jane, you have no answer other than to say it’s bad, I said so. Nobody is saying it doesn’t impair. It’s just it doesn’t impair NEARLY as much as drug warriors like you say it does, and the overall effect is harm reduction for society as it means less drunks and heavy prescription drug users on the road. Overall, that means less dangerous roads.

            The evidence is staring you right in the face. Wake up.

          • “less” drunk? “less” drug users? “less” dangerous roads? So drunks and drug users and dangerous roads are measured by volume (like ‘less’ water)? Try “fewer” and learn the difference (it’ll make you sound ‘less’ dumb).

            As for drivers impared by marijuana being better than drivers impaired by alcohol, I just cannot agree. They are equally awful, and both are more apt to kill my children and me than sober drivers.

        • people have dies from drugged driving , but VERY FEW . “They” are letting us use phones and putting wi-fi in the cars and dvd players to quietly KILL US OFF , then they try to fill the coffers with money for nailing you for driving and not killing yourself and others . They should just keep up the drunk watch and shut up and lay down on the drugged driving because that crap will get thrown out
          of court in most cases

      • Mist people dive way better high you are more aware of whats going on..
        Obviously you have never smoked marijuana.

  3. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Your articles always rock, Tom. Thanks for another solid nugget of knowledge. This fits right into what I’ve been proposing for many moons: end our current tyrannical “marihuana” prohibition by passing a new federal law renaming the regulator as the Bureau of Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—the very same agency established after alcohol Prohibition had been repealed. For optimal cannabis commerce, bring on your impairment measures as well as your “three-tiered” economic system! All arrogant, “marihuana”-hating career politicians and bureaucrats must be pushed aside, so that America’s cannabis farmers and growers will again be free to supply a renaissance of eco-friendly businesses and job creation. Anything less just perpetuates the scandalous 80-year “marihuana” fraud.

    • AMEN! Also, a note to Jane. You’ll find drivers under the influence of marijuana are barely more dangerous than a sober driver. They are less likely to speed and no road rage.

      • “Barely more dangerous” still means more dangerous. If MJ is going to be legalized we must find a way to test suspect drivers for the legal limit, just as we do for alcohol. Simply because MJ is a psychoactive drug. I believe this is reasonable to protect the public.

      • Old Man Crawford on

        I couldn’t agree more. I have driven under the influence of marijuana at some point EVERYDAY for the last 25 years. I have had no accidents. I have however had multiple speeding tickets and other safety related citations, none of which were issued to me while I was under the influence of cannabis! For the record when I’m not stoned I tend to drive noticeably faster and more aggressively, that is a fact. In other words I can honestly say I tend to drive in a much safer manner when I’m stoned, to which my wife would even testify to be true. Marijuana alone does not take away inhibitions the way alcohol does and that freedom from inhibition is what makes drunk drivers feel “fine” to drive. I’m not saying you can’t be too stoned to drive, but regular users of cannabis are hyper aware of their ability to drive or not. I am very worried about what might become of this issue, inevitably people will end up in jail for no reason. I would also add that people testing positive for marijuana after a traffic fatality is still B.S. We all know that T.H.C. stays in the blood up to 30 days. By that logic I could smoke a joint on September 3rd then on September 10th I could be driving and texting, kill myself and others and yes, have T.H.C. in my blood. Clearly that would not have been the cause of the accident though.

        • DrugWarResister on

          Excellent points. Alcohol is a lethal depressant, increases risk-taking behavior and decreases motor skills necessary to manipulate the driving controls, and shown to have a high correlation between accidents whereas decades of data support that cannabis increases caution and doesn’t much impair motor skills necessary to operating the vehicle. 56 of 2250 (2.5%) driving fatalities in WA detect cannabis as the exclusive impairment while alcohol driving crashes represent almost a third of all traffic-related deaths in the US.

          Obviously, the effects of cannabis are much mellower and so, harder to measure. However, decades of data support that cannabis increases caution and doesn’t much impair motor skills necessary to operating the vehicle while the other increases risk-taking behavior and impairs motor skills with each measure.

  4. There’s a very simple response to this crap.
    There has been no increase in the total number of road fatalities since the reforms.
    Positive results for dead drivers may be up but that may be because of increased testing for cannabis but without any actual increase in the number of deaths on the road, then the pretend crisis never actually happened.
    Alcohol is uniquely problematic as no other drug compares to it in connection to danger on the roads.

  5. I find it interesting that “smoking” is always the taboo evil as all these drunk lawmakers play their games and get rich servicing lobbyists. But it’s funny that the alcohol industry is so fearful of legalized cannabis…just as big tobacco is so fearful of ecigs (vaping!). Greed, plain and simple.

  6. A message to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Be careful what you wish for. No matter what ills you can come up with regarding marijuana, it pales and will always pale in comparison to alcohol.

    Note: That is coming from a person who prefers wine and even though I spend summers in Colorado, I’ve yet to use marijuana. But, if we’re talking about making something illegal because some people misuse or abuse it, I’d rather see us start with alcohol, followed by fast and processed food.

        • That’s your opinion Jane, and it’s valid. I’ve been smoking and driving for a long time now and I have never had an accident or was even close to having one while high. But it is true that if I reach really high levels of thc things might blurry and sleepiness hits hard. Those are the cases where I prefer not to drive. So, just as alcohol, I do think it wouldnt be a bad idea to permit only a limited percentage of thc on drivers. That being said, I think alcohol industries being specially concerned with this topic is so ironic, knowing that drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of unnatural deaths in the US and in the world. They should mind their own business.

          • Good post. I do believe that the Alcohol industry only has their greed in mind when opposing MJ legalization. Big Alcohol want$ no competition.

    • Jerry kaczmarek on

      Laura, I could not agree with you more cause I live in a state . where alcohol is encouraged, ie Louisiana. this past Mardi gras in New Orleans. I have never seen so many drunken kids in a stupor, and this is just fine, how sad , the state of this country has become over a plant, but as we know it is all about money, money money, and it gets me repulsed. I just moved back to new Orleans from Colorado Springs.

    • We can see why abortionists prefer the word ‘choice’ to ‘abortion’ but it’s the same with marijuana. People need to get over the stigma that marijuana carries because of its medical uses, but using the name ‘cannabis’ doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a psychoactive drug. I like drop-dead honesty over deception even if it stings a little.

  7. The alcohol industry is a purveyor of death nothing they say is worth repeating. These death dealers are whores selleing death to all who are ignorant of the adictive properties of these chemicals that are legaly foisted upon an unaware public. If you want prohibition this is the worst leagal drug for sale arround the world. Oh wait ,we have already tried that it didn’t do anythig but make the problem worse.

    • Except the public is not really unaware of the addictive properties of alcohol. It’s been legal for a long time and the public is pretty well saturated with knowledge of its negative effects. But legislators love to drink alcohol so to think they would want any restrictions on it whatsoever (except age limit) is silly.

  8. Pierre_Ordinaire on

    At a stop sign, the sober driver stops, the drunk driver ignores it, and the stoned driver stops and waits for it to turn green.

  9. Charles Elkins on

    I find it disturbing and rather comical at the same time. Alcohol producers, newspapers, the logging industry, textile manufacturer’s, clothing, fuel, logging, big pharmaceutical companies. All the people involved in these types of comonies should be worried. The plant of life is coming of age finally. Thanks to the many life changing faucets of this plant, big rip off business is worried. And rightfully should be. All these companies now feel the mom and pop syndrome they forced down our throats for years. Bad thing once legal they will come in and fuck everything up as they always have. So to all those industries, move over there’s a new kid on the block who’s been around for quite some time. And what they fear is the change. Or should I say the dollars. Thanks to the many Americans finally standing up for there rights. Fuck big brother and all of its misleading and calculated lies. Sorry boys, the jig is up.

  10. “The Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi (ca. 2900 BC), whom the Chinese credit with bringing civilization to China, seems to have made reference to Ma, the Chinese word for Cannabis, noting that Cannabis was very popular medicine that possessed both yin and yang.” – http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000026

    As can read, this plant has been in existing waaaaay before our time and was used for medicinal purposes. It took one President to mess it up (Nixon) and have it classified in a catagory that alcohol should be in. – http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2014/08/richard-nixon-was-the-marijuana-antichrist/

  11. Impaired driving… from marijuana? Maybe I’m a lil’ bit smarter than the average Californian driver, although your reaction time may be slower, but who’s the person who measures the frequency of consumption before driving? People who are uneducated always show signs of “fear of the unknown,” when it comes to marijuana, i.e. most officer’s don’t know how to police it in legal states, and the US government flip flops every other day on their stance. As much as I love craft beer, the alcohol industry has nothing to worry about cause most hipters I know, know where the best bud is

  12. Oh Jane you have so much to learn young grasshopper. Your mind is as a glass full of turds emptied from the bowels of greedy politicians and crooks. I urge you to toss that glass before taking another sip!

    Simple logic determines that cannabis is not detrimental to driving. One must consider that most officers (I know from experience. For the record, never a DUI or accident caused by me) will do a field sobriety test to determine intoxication prior to checking BAC.

    One must ask “why is the field sobriety test is so ineffective at testing those under the influence of cannabis?” Think about it for a second… The only obvious answer: The cannabis user is SOBER! Cannabis should be considered a fruit or vegetable. It is a god-given plant, not a man-made poison and our bodies have receptors built specifically to receive cannabinoids.

    If you feel too “high” after use, odds are you wont be driving as cannabis does not impair decision making skills like alcohol or drugs.

    Don’t step into the ring with science and GOD. You will lose.

    • I think you’re making my point with your ‘high’ly hysterical post. LOL

      So now you’ve declassified marijuana from the ‘drug’ list? That won’t work…everybody knows better. And any honest person who has ever used marijuana knows that you’d have to be crazy to legalize driving under the influence of MJ.

  13. Sam the mechanic on

    Cannabis usually improves driving skills for a few reasons. I might worry about new users. Maybe.

    Alcohol, on the other hand, can kill you and can most definitely make you kill others using your car.

      • Old Man Crawford on

        It doesn’t hurt driving skills. I have driven under the influence of marijuana at some point EVERYDAY for the last 25 years. I have had no accidents. I have however had multiple speeding tickets and other safety related citations, none of which were issued to me while I was under the influence of cannabis! For the record when I’m not stoned I tend to drive noticeably faster and more aggressively, that is a fact. In other words I can honestly say I tend to drive in a much safer manner when I’m stoned, to which my wife would even testify to be true. Marijuana alone does not take away inhibitions the way alcohol does and that freedom from inhibition is what makes drunk drivers feel “fine” to drive. I’m not saying you can’t be too stoned to drive, but regular users of cannabis are hyper aware of their ability to drive or not. I am very worried about what might become of this issue, inevitably people will end up in jail for no reason. I would also add that people testing positive for marijuana after a traffic fatality is still B.S. We all know that T.H.C. stays in the blood up to 30 days. By that logic I could smoke a joint on September 3rd then on September 10th I could be driving and texting, kill myself and others and yes, have T.H.C. in my blood. Clearly that would not have been the cause of the accident though.

        • A lot of drunk drivers never cause a fatal accident either. Proves nothing. You’ll never convince me that the THC in marijuana isn’t as psychoactive when you’re driving as at any other time….

  14. Warren Jackson on

    I realized before I turned 21 that Alcohol was not for me. After a drink of drinking alcohol I couldn’t run my normal 3 miles in the mornings. After a night of consuming a little cannabis and sleeping I was able to get up and run my 3 miles around the Rose Bowl. I’m now 57. For the last 36 years I have been driving under the influence of cannabis and I never had an accident nor have I been stop by the cops for driving under the influence of Cannabis. I believe in Cannabis!

  15. ImpliedConsent on

    I just love the alcohol industry. Everything is just fine while MJ is illegal. Fat cat smoking his Cubano, drinking his alcohol, wondering what us poor people are doing. Gets in his car, drives home, smashes into a family minivan. Arrested, charged, released.
    The insane cycle is pure hypocrisy. 32k vehicle fatalities for 2014. Of those, 23k had BAC of .08 or higher. The study ( IIHS 2014 study ) was done by IIHS.

    Admittedly, there are no current MJ studies in the same time period. My guess in the RMJ states, there would be alcohol and MJ in the system of at least 50% of fatal accidents. Just a guess. I think the most telling is that 72%… 3 out of 4 fatalities, we’re alcohol related.

  16. Diane Armstrong on

    This is absolutely rediculous. They act like marijuana is a new thing. News Flash it’s been around for years. The only difference is that now it’s a current topic and is becoming more accepted and legal in some states. Reality is that weed has been around legal or not for generations and it will stay that way. The legalization is only a formality. And as for comparing it to alcohol there is no comparison one kills the other doesn’t. True fact. One is “manufactured” the other “grown”. That’s like comparing fire and ice or men and women. The point is that the effects of marijuana is only now being discussed when it’s already been around for years and has NOT been an issue until the alcohol industry made it one.

    • Your post is all over the place. First, no one is arguing whether MJ is legal or not and your saying its been around “for years” is meaningless (alcohol and hard drugs and vegetables have also been around “for years”, which tells us nothing.
      —–
      Second, saying that “legalization is only a formality” is silly…once it’s legalized many thousands or even millions more will be using it, hence, a greater threat on the road.
      —–
      Third, both alcohol and marijuana can make one intoxicated, now that’s a fact if you want facts.
      —–
      Lastly…your post is just a great big denial that marijuana has any negatives aspects at all, and we know that’s just not true.

      • I feel for you, Jane, but if you realized how many people were on the road, and ones that use marijuana always, you would stay home, I guess. The worst issue is drunk drivers. Think about it.

        • Probably a lot of MJ users that drink too…on the road. Whether they’re drunk, or just high on MJ, or both…doesn’t matter…they pose a danger to others.

  17. honestly, alcohol dealers would worry about loss of profits, not so much about the fact that alcohol KILLS. ALCOHOL is the gateway drug and is as harmful as meth and heroin. The only difference is we support alcohol and profit greatly from its abuse.

  18. Much controversy above centered on whether THC or distraction from driving by the technical act of serving the toke caused the accident. Possible answer: $moking involves carbon monoxide and 4221 Combu$tion toxins which probably contribute to danger of accidents, but can be avoided by a Vaporization technique for serving the cannabinoids. My preference: stop the car and serve a 25-mg single toke with a flexdrawtube oneheater (parts I and II in the “How to Make $moke Pipes from Everyday Objects” wikiHow article which deserves a namechange. Yes, Virginia, you can VAPORIZE just fine with a flexdrawtube oneheater. After the toke, do 30 Warm Wet W’s in and out of a Luftspielhaus aka breadbag.

  19. In the Charlottes Web CBD documentary they did a side skit, and made two marijuana users get stoned to test their driving. One was a recreational user who would only consume on weekends, and the other was a medical user who would consume daily. They found the user who consumed daily drove significantly better than the recreational user. If more people are experienced, then its naïve to think it’s going to cause more traffic problems. I KNOW fatalities from drunk driving/texting/using the phone while driving will always have marijuana fatalities beat! Worry about shit that matters.

      • I know many people who have used marijuana for thirty plus years and they are people with huge hearts and have and would not harm a soul! You, my friends, need to learn before speaking, do research and look around you
        Marijuana is everywhere and has been for many many years. People who use marijuana are not exposing it to others or asking others to use it or agree with them a bout it. Also, last note, God is the only real judge I know!

        • Sarah… having a big heart has nothing to do with anything. In fact, there’s no one with bigger hearts than drunks…a fact. So does that make them safe on the road? No. And MJ users are no more safe on the road when they’re high. As for your 2nd argument, that MJ “is everywhere…what kind of argument is that? Clamydia and Gonorrhea is everywhere too but that’s not a good thing! Alcohol is everywhere too. As for my needing an ‘education’…all I need to know is what it’s like to be high on MJ to know that it’s not safe to drive when under the influence…even if you have a big heart.

  20. Maine people are worried about legalizing recreational marijuana (uneducated people and ones that do not realize just how many people use marijuana — next door neighbors), but the other side of this situation is that there is no cap on beer manufacturers and their alcohol volume level, which keeps people hooked and presents a problem with alcohol poisoning, etc.

  21. Of course the alcohol industry has an issue with pot. It does EVERYTHING that booze does but better!! AND its HEALTHIER!!!

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