Pubdate: Fri, 11 Apr 2008
Source: Evening News, The (CN NS)
Copyright: The Evening News
Author: Russell Barth


Re: Tackling 'drug' driving, The News, April 10.

Few people remember that the original prohibition on marijuana was
based on racist lies and supposed "dangers" to society that didn't
even exist. Today the police are using the same misinformation,
fear-mongering, and balderdash to forward their "drugged driving" agenda.

Touted as an opportunity to make roads safer, it is actually a poorly
hidden scam to further profile people of colour, people under 30, and
people with non-regulation haircuts. It is truly sickening.

The notion that marijuana impairs all drivers is not supported by
science or history. Canadians smoke more pot than any other country,
we smoke the most potent pot in the world, and we admit to toking and
driving more than any other country. Why do we not have thousands,
hundreds, or even a few dozen reports of crashes "caused" by marijuana
each year? Because a study has never been done, and the crashes just
aren't happening. The cops are literally just making this up!

People can be impaired by a lot of things. Hands full with coffee or
food or a cigarette, rowdy pets or passengers, CD player changes,
alcohol, cellphones, cold remedies, prescription medications, fatigue,
old-age, inexperience, and just plain old stupidity. To single out pot
- - or even alcohol - is arbitrary and discriminatory.

Unlike alcohol, pot can show up in your system months after the last
puff. Even trace amounts will be considered  impairment,  much like
getting busted for  drunk driving  five days after your last drink.

There is no doubt that Officer Friendly will abuse this new privilege.
This will lead to many wrongful convictions, and cases being thrown
out due to questionable evidence, which will waste even more time and

Imagine this scenario: Someone is driving around, stoned on
tranquilizers, 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 secondhand smoke - they will be booked for 
impaired driving.

Clearly, these new  drugged-driving  legislations that are showing up
in communities across the country are designed specifically to profile
marijuana users.

They ignore the dangers of other impairment factors such as: a coffee
or cigarette or cellphone in hand, rowdy pets and passengers, booming
stereos, over-the-counter 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 these new laws are doing.  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 License Holder

Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis
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