HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Reducing Accidents - Pot Is Not The Real
Pubdate: Fri, 11 Aug 2006
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: George Kosinski
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cannabis and Driving)


Dear Editor,

Losing a child for any reason is a terrible tragedy, but it can be 
difficult for the grieving survivors to think clearly when they are 
still distraught.

Claiming that the driver might have been impaired on marijuana is a 
nebulous assertion [Grieving mom seeks change, July 28, Langley 
Advance], and the fact that charges related to the claim were dropped 
suggests that it's very likely that marijuana impairment may have had 
nothing to do with the accident.

Hundreds of thousands of people drive every day while impaired by 
legal prescription drugs, but when they are involved in fatal 
accidents, their legal drug use is not highlighted in the media.

Additionally, it may be inadvisable to allow 16-year-old drivers to 
operate sports cars or high-performance vehicles.

Ms. Featherston offered excellent advice in suggesting children 
should not get into vehicles with drivers they don't know.

Character defects and/or lack of experience that encourage young 
drivers to drive recklessly almost certainly cause more accidents 
than marijuana impairment, if it has ever been proven that any 
accident was caused by such impairment.

Some readers may be aware of the studies suggesting that drivers 
under the influence of marijuana are safer drivers than the general 
public. In a climate of drug hysteria, it can be difficult to 
separate the authorities's agenda from facts.

Demonizing marijuana will not reduce accidents caused by impaired 
drivers. In fact, it may be an exacerbating factor. Teenagers may be 
smoking the marijuana in their possession, so they'll be clean if 
stopped and searched while driving. If so, criminalization of 
marijuana is actually contributing to excessive use.

It's important not to lose sight of the fact that actually reducing 
accidents and saving lives should be regarded as more significant 
goals than simply making ourselves feel better.

George Kosinski

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