Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jan 2005
Source: Era-Banner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The Era-Banner
Author: Russell Barth
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis and Driving)


Re: Family Wants Name Cleared, Jan. 13.

It is ridiculous to think police officers who have far less medical 
training than doctors can determine by use of some roadside tests if 
someone is "impaired" by drugs.

It must be obvious to everyone by now police are are just trying to hold on 
to their huge budgets. This "drugged driving" legislation currently 
sneaking through Parliament will give police the opportunity to profile 
young drivers and people with brown skin or long hair.

We have all seen people's ability to drive "impaired" by alcohol, 
prescription drugs, loud stereos, rowdy kids, passengers or pets in the 
car, CD players, cigarettes, huge coffee cups, cell phones, inexperience, 
blood-sugar imbalances, old-age, fatigue and just plain old stupidity. To 
choose one drug as an "impairment factor" is arbitrary and discriminatory.

Cannabis affects every user differently. If any impairment occurs at all, 
it is usually gone in 20 to 60 minutes. But THC can be detected in urine 
and blood for weeks after the last puff.

To be booked for impaired driving simply because there is a trace of THC in 
your system is much like having one beer tonight and getting nailed for 
impaired driving five days from now.

Add the fact that study after study from Europe has shown cannabis users 
drive slower and more cautiously than non-users, and the notion of cannabis 
as a "major contributor" to traffic accidents seems ridiculous.

Where are the official numbers? What official study was ever done in 
Canada? Just where do police get these statistics?

Russell Barth

Educators for Sensible Drug Policy

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