Pubdate: Sun, 16 Dec 2012
Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)
Copyright: 2012 Jay Hoffmann
Author: Jay Hoffmann


With our state's continued debate on medical marijuana use, and now
with Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational marijuana use, it
got me to think. As a society, are we ignoring the dangers we are
exposing the majority to? I guessed the majority of the people who
voted to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Montana, assumed
people in need would have the prescription filled in the same
procedure all current legal drugs are given. The greater concern I
have is the new trend of legalizing recreational marijuana. With drug
use (including marijuana) as the sixth leading cause of traffic
fatalities, let's see how as a society we have done with another
legalized drug, alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving represented 40 percent of
total traffic deaths in 2006. Not good.

So how are we at stopping repeated drunk drivers? According to the
Century Council, in the state of Montana over 80 percent of fatal
drunk driving crashes are from repeat offenders. So with such a large
percentage of vehicle deaths attributed to drunk driving, and such a
high percentage of repeat offenders, I would give us a failing grade
in controlling this legalized drug. Can someone explain why anyone
would want to add another drug to a system that is failing to protect
the majority?

In conclusion, let me leave you with a question. Has the worry ever
crossed your mind that you or your loved ones could ever get hit by a
drunk driver? Well if you travel to Washington or Colorado, you now
have twice as many things to worry about.

Jay Hoffmann

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