Pubdate: Wed, 15 Dec 2004
Source: Revelstoke Times Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Bowes Publishers
Author: Russell Barth
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis and Driving)


Regarding the article headlined Don't Drink - Or Use Drugs -And Drive: RCMP 
that appeared in the Dec. 8 issue of The Times Review.

Staff Sgt. Randy Brown and Const. Andrew West said that "the message of 
"Don't drink and drive" needs to be expanded to 'Don't use drugs and drive.'"

The message should simply be "Don't drive while impaired." Period. The 
reality is that we have all seen people impaired by a lot of things while 
driving. Alcohol, prescription pills, coffee or cigarettes in hand, cell 
phones, CD players, rowdy kids, pets, blaring stereos, inexperience, 
cold-medications, illness, blood-sugar imbalances, fatigue, old age, and 
just plain old stupidity.

To single out cannabis, or even alcohol, as an "impairment factor" is 
arbitrary and discriminatory. The real problem in this society is fast, 
powerful, and gas-hungry cars, the movies and advertising that subtly 
promotes the unsafe use of these machines and idiot people who drive them.

Cannabis affects everyone differently, and traces can remain in the body's 
system for weeks after the last puff. But the impairment, if any occurs at 
all, usually fades after 20-60 minutes. If some police officer decides you 
"seem impaired," which could mean anything from looking a bit tired, to 
having brown skin or long hair, you would have to give a blood or urine 
sample. If even trace amounts of cannabis are found, this would be 
considered an "impairment factor." This is about as fair as having a glass 
of wine, and four days later you get nailed for "drunk driving." That is 
the logic behind the "drugged driving legislation" currently sneaking 
through Parliament, and behind law-enforcement's profiling of people who 
look like pot users.

Russell Barth

Educators For A Sensible Drug Policy

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