Pubdate: Wed, 05 Jul 2017
Source: Lake Cowichan Gazette, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Black Press
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Re: "Cannabis front and centre in on Parliament Hill"

Kudos to NDP MP Alistair MacGregor for pressuring the federal
government to desist from criminalizing cannabis consumers while we
wait for their new regulatory regime.

MacGregor cautioned, "We do not yet know how much cannabis needs to be
in the body for a person to be too impaired to drive, and we are
unsure if the devices that test cannabis levels can work in cold

We will never know how much cannabis needs to be in the body for a
person to be too impaired to drive because the amount varies depending
on experience and tolerance.

We also lack a roadside screening device and legally established blood
concentrations for a medicine cabinet full of impairing OTC
medications and pharmaceuticals, including marinol (dronabinol), the
legal, synthetic THC pill.

Cannabis usage rates rise and fall with no statistical relationship to
cannabis laws and their enforcement, so there is no reason to presume
more motorists will be impaired by cannabis post legalization, however
cannabis is an economic substitute for alcohol and other more
impairing substances, such that when cannabis use goes up, drinking
and impaired driving go down.

An average dose of cannabis impairs an average cannabis consumer less
than a glass of wine, less than a .08 BAC. The label on marinol warns
patients not to drive until they are accustomed to the drug. Happily,
cannabis and marinol consumers tend to overestimate their impairment
and either refrain from driving or drive more defensively to
compensate. The exact opposite is true of alcohol. Drinkers tend to
underestimate their impairment and drive more aggressively.

Matthew M. Elrod

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MAP posted-by: Matt