Pubdate: 9 Sep 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Mary K. Snyder


I recently read the bus accident in New Orleans was solely blamed on
marijuana use of the bus driver.

I was astonished at the lack of importance that should have been put on
other facts that were dismissed. Unfortunately, the driver can no longer
speak for himself, as he died of a heart attack. Listed and ruled out in
the report were the following items: Frank Bedell's extensive health
problems, including heart disease and kidney failure; the fact he had been
taking Benadryl, (which has the warning on the package about not operating
heavy equipment or machinery); he had been treated in the emergency room 12
hours before the accident for dehydration and extremely low blood pressure,
as well as dialysis; and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

None of these items were even listed as contributing factors to the crash,
yet marijuana was the sole cause.

The bus company, which hired Bedell in the first place, has no
responsibility for the accident at all? Now that is amazing. They didn't
care that he was in poor health and not capable of doing the job without
putting innocent people at risk, but marijuana was the sole cause of the

I'm not saying marijuana was or was not the reason for the accident. I
would only like to point out that in this particular case, there were other
possible causes for the crash, and that it is just the narrow-mindedness of
the New Orleans Police Department to assume and conclude that marijuana was
the only reason.

As usual, law enforcement is using marijuana as the scapegoat. I think it
is time to question those motives. 

Mary K. Snyder


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