Pubdate: Sun, 25 Jul 2010
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Marcos Breton


I've been called a prohibitionist a lot lately.

It's a phrase that marijuana users hurl like a rock at opponents of
Proposition 19.

Sorry, but the more I learn about the November initiative to legalize
marijuana for recreational use in California, the more I believe
statewide voters should reject it.

It's not a question of morality. I've had my share of

As a senior at San Jose State University  in the year of our Lord,
1985  I was tight with the hippie lettuce.

Sadly, I also drove while stoned. I was absolutely impaired while
doing so and thankfully never hurt anyone or myself.

On Friday, an elementary school teacher was killed near Chico when hit
by a motorist who police suspect was stoned.

It was a reminder that legalized pot would only increase the number of
reckless drivers in California.

The suspect in the traffic fatality has a medical marijuana garden in
Butte County, authorities said.

Just imagine the hazards when anyone 21 and older can get legally high
for the fun of it.

Pot advocates claim alcohol is more deadly than marijuana but fail to
mention the decades of science and law regulating alcohol.

In California, a 0.08 blood-alcohol level means you're legally

What's the equivalent to measure marijuana intoxication?

There isn't one.

"This is why it's going to be so dangerous and challenging if
Proposition 19 passes," said Susan Manheimer, president of the
California Police Chiefs Association.

There is little consistency in "drugged driving" laws compared with
DUI laws. Drugs like marijuana are harder to detect by police officers
and in drug tests.

Manheimer said that because DUI laws are more developed, California
cops are allowed to force DUI suspects to take drug tests. That is not
so for "drugged driving" suspects, she said.

At a March conference of the National Institute on Drug Abuse,
researchers found:

"Because testing fatally injured drivers for drugs is not as
consistent, a literature has not developed on what drug driving laws
or community programs to reduce drugged driving are most effective."

So we're going to allow recreational marijuana use when laws and
science are not ready for it?

It's no problem, according to pot people.

"The impairment does not appear to play a significant role in on-road
traffic accidents," according to NORML, the Washington, D.C-based
marijuana nonprofit group.

Sure. Pot users believe they do everything better while

The temptation is great for the uninformed simply to vote yes on

It's a great idea in the absence of facts  unless you're the one
getting run over.
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MAP posted-by: Matt