Pubdate: Thu, 16 Nov 2006
Source: Express (CN NF)
Copyright: 2006 The Express
Author: Russell Barth



RE: Drugged Driving Laws.

How can the federal government justify this new affront to our civil 
rights and liberties? There are no numbers to show that there has 
been an increase in drugged driving incidents, as no official study 
has ever been done. Remember, this is the same government who wants 
to 'crack down' on a crime rate that has been steadily dropping.

Imagine this scenario: Someone is driving around, stoned on 
tranquillizers, painkillers, cold-medications, or some combination 
thereof. The driver gets pulled over and appears -- to the police 
officer -- to be visibly 'impaired.' The driver blows zero for 
alcohol, and his urine and blood samples test negative for illegal 
drugs. That driver is free to go and repeat the offence.

But if the driver tests positive for even trace amounts of marijuana 
- -- which may show up in the body for up to three months after the 
last puff, or because of second hand smoke -- they will be booked for 
impaired driving. This is the same as busting someone for drunk 
driving three days after their last drink.

Clearly, this new 'drugged driving' legislation is designed 
specifically to profile marijuana users -- especially people under 
the age of 30, and people of colour. How medical marijuana users will 
fare in this new program is yet to be seen.

The new law will likely ignore the dangers of other impairment 
factors such as; a coffee or cigarettes, or cell phone in hand, rowdy 
pets and passengers, booming stereos, over-thecounter medications, 
prescription medications, blood-sugar imbalances, fatigue, 
inexperience, bad driving habits, old-age, and just plain old stupidity.

To focus on any one thing is arbitrary and discriminatory -- and that 
is exactly what this new law will do. It won't matter if the driver 
is tripling their dose of a prescription medication, but if marijuana 
shows up in your blood, you are considered guilty until proven innocent.

So much for Canada being a 'just society'.

Russell Barth, Federal Medical Marijuana Licence Holder, Ottawa
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