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11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 3/12/2005 1:08:17 PM EST
DRUGGED-DRIVING LEGISLATION A MISLEADING AND UNFAIR TACTIC TO GO AFTER OHIO POT USERS

by Paul Armentano, (Source:Athens News)
Regional News

07 Mar 2005

Ohio
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Imagine it was against the law to drive home after consuming a single glass of wine at dinner. Now imagine it was against the law to do so after having consumed a single glass of wine two weeks ago.

Sound absurd? No more so than a proposal weaving its way through the Ohio Legislature that makes it a criminal offense for anyone to operate a motor vehicle if trace levels of marijuana or non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites ( compounds produced from the chemical changes of a drug in the body ) are present in their blood or urine.

While the expressed purpose of House Bill 8 ( and its companion bill, Senate Bill 8, which the Senate recently approved by a 30-1 vote ) is to target and remove drug-impaired drivers from Ohio's roadways, the reality is that this poorly worded proposal would do little to improve public safety. Rather, it would falsely categorize sober drivers as "intoxicated" simply because they had consumed an illicit substance -- particularly marijuana -- some days or weeks earlier.

A case in point: John and Jane Doe attend a party. John enjoys a glass of wine while Jane takes a puff from a marijuana cigarette. The next day, Jane is pulled over while driving. She is asked to submit to a urine test and tests positive for marijuana. Under Ohio's proposed law, Jane would be arrested for "driving under the influence of drugs," despite the fact that any impairment she experienced from smoking marijuana would have worn off hours earlier.

That's because marijuana's main metabolite, THC-COOH, remains detectable in one's urine for days and sometimes weeks after past use. In addition, marijuana's primary intoxicating ingredient, THC, may remain detectable at low levels in the blood for up to 48 hours. At most, someone who smokes cannabis is impaired as a driver for only a few hours, certainly not for days or weeks. To treat all marijuana smokers as if they are impaired, even when the substance's psychoactive effects have long worn off, is illogical and unfair.

In addition, Ohio already has sufficient laws on the books prosecuting and punishing drivers who operate a motor vehicle if they are "under the influence" of illicit drugs. Under Section 4511.19 of Ohio's Revised Code, motorists face up to six months in jail if they drive "while under the influence of a drug of abuse." By contrast, HB 8 seeks to create a new crime of "drugged driving" that is divorced from impairment and that would jail motorists for simply having consumed an illicit substance at some prior, unspecified date. While Ohioans certainly do not wish to condone illegal drug use, it's also clear that this proposal seeks to misuse the state's traffic-safety laws to target illicit drug use in general.

At a minimum, Ohio's newly proposed law targeting drugged drivers should identify "parent drugs" ( the identifiable psychoactive compound of a controlled substance ), not inactive drug metabolites. Further, the law must enact scientifically sound cut-off levels that correlate drug concentrations in the blood to identifiable impairment of performance, similar to the 0.08 BAC standard that now exists for drunk driving. As presently written, HB 8 is neither a safe nor sensible way to identify impaired drivers; it is an attempt to misuse the traffic-safety laws in order to identify and prosecute marijuana smokers per se.

We all support the goal of keeping impaired drivers off the road, regardless of whether the driver is impaired from alcohol or other drugs. Yet, HB 8 and its Senate companion bill neither addresses the problem nor offers a legitimate solution and should be rejected by Ohio's lawmakers.

Editor's note: Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:09:37 PM EST
You guys really hate pot in this state, eh?
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:12:48 PM EST
10 pages
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:15:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
10 pages



You're on. I'm betting on 8.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:19:34 PM EST
I guess that is the next step. You can already be fired from your job because of the same thing.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:20:58 PM EST
MJ's metabolites can hang around for MONTHS.

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:21:00 PM EST
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:21:01 PM EST
Let me be the first to say

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:22:02 PM EST
Marijuana running rampant through Ohio??


I say 5 pages.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:29:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By C-4:
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum



You're compairing a law suggesting prosecuting drug impaired drivers with the concentration camps?
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:46:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum



You're compairing a law suggesting prosecuting drug impaired drivers with the concentration camps?



I am telling you that the slippery slope has already started and the ending will either be Civil War II or Concentration Camps, though it may take a few more decades. Of all students of human nature, you can appreciate this fact.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:05:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum



You're compairing a law suggesting prosecuting drug impaired drivers with the concentration camps?



I am telling you that the slippery slope has already started and the ending will either be Civil War II or Concentration Camps, though it may take a few more decades. Of all students of human nature, you can appreciate this fact.



Rampant paranoia often results from….

Grab a bag of Doritos and chill out.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:10:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum



You're compairing a law suggesting prosecuting drug impaired drivers with the concentration camps?



The problem is that the law doesn't just prosecute drug impaired drivers. It persecutes drivers who happen to use drugs.

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:20:45 PM EST
The gov't has spent billions on the war on pot and has accomplished nothing other than giving the Coast Guard something to do. Legalize it, license the growers, control manufacturing and distribution, tax it @ $1.25 per joint or $50 per Oz., then go after the refined and/or man-made crap that burns holes in your brain. Like alcohol, a tolerable limit could be determined.

I absolutely don't promote drug use, but pot is coming to be regarded as a medicinal herb, even within the medical community and even when it's smoked.

We need to turn some of our problems into solutions. $$$
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:46:54 PM EST
Strange from a state that has basically decriminalized possession of small amounts (think its under and ounce). Ohh you've got pot.. here's your ticket, yes you can mail it in, no we're keeping the pot.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:53:54 PM EST
Lets take this to the next level. I go to a country where mary jane is legal and enjoy some on my vacation. Three weeks later I get involved in an accident, mandatory urine test follows and now I go to jail when I'm not impared. That is totally fucked up!
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:27:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Why doesn't the gov't just stop the charade and make Concentration Camps for drug users, gun owners, Christians, conservative Jews and Blacks, Angry White Males, etc. ad nauseum



You're compairing a law suggesting prosecuting drug impaired drivers with the concentration camps?



I am telling you that the slippery slope has already started and the ending will either be Civil War II or Concentration Camps, though it may take a few more decades. Of all students of human nature, you can appreciate this fact.



Rampant paranoia often results from….

Grab a bag of Doritos and chill out.



I wish. If it wasn't illegal, it might be worth trying. I'm on call tonight so I can't even have a beer.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 4:47:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tazaroo:
Lets take this to the next level. I go to a country where mary jane is legal and enjoy some on my vacation. Three weeks later I get involved in an accident, mandatory urine test follows and now I go to jail when I'm not impared. That is totally fucked up!



I believe there will be some requirement for objective symptoms of intoxication, and failed FST's before a urine test will be required. Do you really believe they are going to require a urine test of every driver stopped for any reason?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 4:58:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 4:59:22 AM EST by lu380]
PA's new DUI law already does this. I don't smoke pot, but I'm against prosecuting people for driving with trace levels of THC in their blood.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:41:49 AM EST
all the law does is make ohio more money this broke ass place gives 47% of the state gnp to the medicaid sytem then goes and gives the state welfare people a 10% raise...the money has got to come from someone....OHIO SUCKS........
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