Pubdate: Wed, 29 Oct 2014
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)
Copyright: 2014 Lee Enterprises
Authors: Monty Ellison and Linda Ellison


One might reasonably ask this question of the recent events listed 
below: What do they have in common?

The deaths of four young women, college athletes, by an 
out-of-control tractor-trailer rig in Oklahoma.

The death of a gifted young NASCAR driver who, enraged, leapt out of 
his disabled race car and stormed into the path of another speeding race car.

The physical abuse of his son by a world class athlete.

The shooting death of a young black man after he robbed a convenience 
store and attacked a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri

And, closer to home, a destructive and dangerous grass fire set by 
two Corvallis teens on a dare.

Marijuana; all had marijuana in their systems to a greater or lesser 
degree. Marijuana impairs judgment. It causes global cognitive 
impairment. It is unlike any other intoxicating substance in many 
ways, perhaps most importantly in the length of time that it remains 
in the body.

At what point does the impairment cease? We don't know.

Can we link the drug to the events unequivocally? No.

Since legalization in Colorado, the percentage of drivers in fatal 
accident incidents testing positive for marijuana has increased 
dramatically. Is it cause and effect? We don't know ... yet.

What we do know is that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, 
and looks like a duck ... it probably is a duck.

Monty and Linda Ellison, Albany (Oct. 27)
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