Pubdate: Mon, 22 Sep 2003
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2003, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Matthew Hulett


Your editorial is right on the mark. It is absurd to lump all drugs
into one category. Will this apply to pharmaceutical drugs as well?
What about antihistamines? Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, says,
"These mind-altering drugs are so dangerous it is illegal to sell,
distribute or even possess them." The most dangerous drug on our roads
is alcohol, and it is legal to sell, distribute, and possess it, so
his meaning is lost to me.

My concern is that some poor lad who smokes a joint of marijuana on a
Friday will have an accident the following Sunday and will be treated
as harshly as if he drove under the influence of LSD. That is not justice.

In fact, it is legal to drive under the influence of Marinol, a
pharmaceutical form of THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
The FDA states it is safe to drive under its influence once the user
becomes behaviorally accustomed to its effects. Research has shown again
and again marijuana intoxicated drivers are not an increased threat on
our public roads:

University Of Toronto Study Shows Marijuana Not A Factor In Driving 

UK: Cannabis May Make You A Safer Driver

Australia: Cannabis Crash Risk Less: Study

Robbe, Hindrik W.J. , 1994. Marijuana use and driving.

Distortion 12: Cannabis and Driving

So, while the drug warriors trot out cocaine and dead babies to whip
up public anger and fervor, perhaps it would be prudent for our media
to analyze the situation concerning the most widely used illicit
intoxicant, marijuana. And, to point out that distracting police from
detecting drunk drivers may very well prove counterproductive.

Matthew Hulett

Brick, N.J.