Pubdate: Thu, 25 Aug 2016
Source: Chico News & Review, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: William R. Todd-Mancillas


The California State Sheriffs' Association claims marijuana seriously 
impairs driving and has other adverse consequences. Yet researchers 
find that while obviously inadvisable, marijuana only modestly 
affects driving (Journal of Drug And Alcohol Dependence, June 23, 2016).

Marijuana users know their performance is impaired and compensate by 
slowing down and being especially attentive. By contrast, inebriated 
drivers are seriously impaired. They merely think they are in 
control; in fact, they speed, weave across lanes, have lethally 
slower reaction times, and cause thousands of accidents (National 
Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2015).

Moreover, illegality accounts for marijuana's negative societal 
consequences, not its use per se. Incarceration soils reputations, 
deprives children of custodial parents, financially and mentally 
stresses families and society, blackballs one from employment, and 
puts one at risk for assault.

Violence results from gangsters killing other gangsters and 
passersby, not from discretionary users committing crimes of violence 
or going berserk. In fact, while alcohol precipitates, cannabis 
reduces aggression and is associated with less-not more-domestic 
violence (Psychoparmacology, July 15, 2016; Psychology of Addictive 
Behavior, September 2014). The California State Sheriffs' 
Association's false claims mislead the public and diminish law 
enforcement's credibility.

William R. Todd-Mancillas

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