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(Christian Science Monitor)   Hundreds of drivers in Washington score over five on the pot-o-meter, stoking fears that... that... I don't know either   (csmonitor.com ) divider line 36
    More: Obvious, Washington State Patrol, mess  
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7754 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2013 at 1:15 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-11-24 12:23:59 PM  
4 votes:
This is more about cops exploiting the American People than it is dangerous drivers.
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/04/thc_blood_test_pot_crit ic _william_breathes_3_times_over_limit_sober.php
2013-11-24 02:06:26 PM  
3 votes:
Because most 'real' drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc.) are cleared from the blood and urine fairly quickly, tests for them can show actual intoxication and therefore, impairment. But THC  persists for up to 6 weeks in some people, and a test for it does not reveal any time frame or intoxication, and therefore can only go to lifestyle.

Imagine getting a DUI for having had some drinks three weekends ago.

THC should not be part of a drug screen at work or otherwise. Keep the panels for hard drugs, but remove the marijuana component from the screening tests.

Someday, they may find a way of figuring out how stoned you really are (ie., gas chromatography evaluations) but until then, it should be dropped.

And, it should be noted, that gaining the freedom to smoke pot, yet giving up your rights in the form of allowing police to order blood tests on you, is not really a good deal.

Bottom Line - "Oh yeah, you can smoke pot, but if we catch you driving anytime in the next month, you're screwed."

/what a nightmare
2013-11-24 01:50:47 PM  
3 votes:
What caught my eye was this line:

Calkins said that, in the first half of the year, the overall number of people pulled over by the State Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence, whether of alcohol or drugs, remained roughly on par with figures from the last two years.

Could it be that legalizing marijuana will lower the number of alcohol DUI's?  And given that many (most?) of the drug DUI's are probably not real, this could mean that the streets are now safer.  Any chance of a story about that?
2013-11-24 01:49:55 PM  
3 votes:

bojon: It took years to come up with a DUI policy that could be enforced nationally. It will take years for pot, but it will happen.


The problem is that it took years, as well, to come up with a DUI Policy that would stand up to scientific and forensic scrutiny in court, and has been backed by peer reviewed research. If you look at Europe, for example, many countries there have a 0.01 BAC limit. They have zero tolerance for it.

This isn't the case with this. D9THC metabolites have up to a 11 day half life, and there is poor correlation between content in blood and behavioral impairment with current studies. This kind of thing would get tossed out of court by a person with a good lawyer. The problem is, who this law will target will most likely not be able to afford a good lawyer.
2013-11-24 01:49:45 PM  
3 votes:

The Evil Home Brewer: Typical....

Those who can smoke it will provide evidence that state governments who don't allow it (like mine) can use as excuses for not allowing legalization.

Way to go Aszholes


Neither the Colorado nor the Washington government legalized marijuana. The People did.
2013-11-24 01:49:22 PM  
3 votes:
Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that it's the *metabolites* that stay in the body for weeks/months. Typical drug tests are looking for those. If there is THC in the blood then you are probably under the influence.

Although I believe there is evidence that driving stoned is nowhere near as bad as driving drunk, and I seem to recall some suggestion that stoned drivers can actually perform better than sober drivers.
2013-11-24 01:41:56 PM  
3 votes:

No Time To Explain: oh, look, "Christian Science"

/almost stopped reading there
//continued for a few sentences and laughed
///better luck fear mongering next time, ya puritan freaks


The Christian Science Monitor has nothing to do with the Church of Christian Scientists - in fact, it's mission statement explicitly states that it will not be used to promote their views. It's actually one of the most respected news sources in the United States, and has a very notable habit of approaching topics neutrally and without bias and sensationalism.
2013-11-24 12:49:01 PM  
3 votes:

Sleeping Monkey: This is more about cops exploiting the American People than it is dangerous drivers.
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/04/thc_blood_test_pot_crit ic _william_breathes_3_times_over_limit_sober.php


Yeah, there is no "real" test for MJ impairment, so they set a BS threshold.

"It's like shooting fish in a barrel," he said. "It hits the kids of color the hardest."

If you can afford a lawyer, you can fight the charges.  But in all circumstances, testing THC levels is pretty meaningless.  It just assures a continued stream of citizens being hauled into the justice system, to replace those lost due to decriminalization.

If we repealed ALL the political crimes at once, the cops would be at a complete loss, and the prisons would start losing money hand over fist.
2013-11-24 03:17:09 PM  
2 votes:
5 nanograms per milliliter of blood is about 1/1000 of an effective dose. You'd fail the test if you smoked a joint last week and none since. The absurd 5ng/ml limit was concocted by ALEC as a way to criminalize legal marijuana consumption. It makes as much sense as setting the blood-alcohol limit to .00005.
2013-11-24 01:54:31 PM  
2 votes:

The My Little Pony Killer: mazzz: Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that it's the *metabolites* that stay in the body for weeks/months. Typical drug tests are looking for those. If there is THC in the blood then you are probably under the influence.

Although I believe there is evidence that driving stoned is nowhere near as bad as driving drunk, and I seem to recall some suggestion that stoned drivers can actually perform better than sober drivers.

Yup. What they discovered was that when people get stoned enough for it to affect their driving, they know they don't want to be on the roads anyway.


Which is somewhat different, imagine that, from the alcohol bulletproof stupor.
2013-11-24 01:48:41 PM  
2 votes:

www.prlog.org

Meh, lots of handicapped drivers couldn't pass some of the road side tests, it doesn't mean they were legally impaired.  Not sure I could pass some of the road side tests and I never drink and drive......nor do I smoke.

2013-11-24 08:33:10 PM  
1 vote:

Danger Avoid Death: Jument: Smoking pot in the car: EABOD ...

That's taking the munchies to a whole other level.


s3.amazonaws.com

Many of us enjoy this.
2013-11-24 06:31:20 PM  
1 vote:
You cannot test for THC in your bloodstream. The test is for the metabolites that are produced when it's processed by your body.  There is no test on the planet that can tell if you are currently stoned. Only if you have smoked recently.

Since THC binds to lipids (fat), A daily smoker will 100% of the time fail a drug test based on bloodwork, because the metabolites are still in the smokers body. In fact, A fat daily smoker would probably fail their drug test for the better part of a month after stopping smoking.
2013-11-24 05:40:03 PM  
1 vote:

Bennie Crabtree: Or even lack of sleep, which is a significant impairment.


Yeah can we test that? It would be better to teach people to consider all the impairments.

Tired? That's One.
Upset? That's One
Sick? That's another.
Had a Drink, Add one per drink.
GF's giving you a hand job? You dog you.
Unfamiliar Road? Add One.
Dark Out? Add One
Raining? Add One
Not your usual car?
etc etc

My gut feel is multiple impairment is how people often get popped for a 0.01 because without a co-factor there usually isn't enough impairment for a cop to notice.

Big problem with booze though is it increases peoples reaction time and messes with motor control period. It's why Alcohol driving and heavy machinery don't mix. Pharmacologically pot (and a lot of other drugs) don't do that.
2013-11-24 03:35:50 PM  
1 vote:
Where's the stats on the carnage these stoners have caused while driving ?
2013-11-24 03:14:53 PM  
1 vote:
I think a pretty good test for THC levels would to rapidly move a picture of a cat superimposed over a rainbow spiral towards and away from a suspect's face.  Depending on how far back they stagger and how long the "Whoooaaa" afterwards was, you could determine how high a suspect is.

Seriously, though, just don't smoke and drive! Why run the risk?
2013-11-24 02:57:49 PM  
1 vote:

vbob: BTW, urine tests are more accurate because metabolites are concentrated by the kidneys into the urine. Blood contains less.


Not really. Blood tests for Delta 9 THC, the active "intoxicating" component in marijuana can measure the quantitative level in the blood at that point and time. All a UDS tells you is that at some point, in the last 5-10 days, someone inhaled or swallowed.

The problem is those blood tests have NO Clinical Correlation, at this point and time, between D9THC levels in the blood currently and level of impairment.
2013-11-24 02:33:48 PM  
1 vote:

hardinparamedic: vbob: THC should not be part of a drug screen at work or otherwise. Keep the panels for hard drugs, but remove the marijuana component from the screening tests.

THC is still illegal on a federal level, which puts employers at a huge legal liability for employing individuals in certain professions who have it in their system. In addition, no offense to anyone who tokes up, but I don't want you doing anything to me or involving me if you don't have the willpower and maturity to stop smoking at least 8 hours to getting behind the wheel or clocking in.


No offense taken, but do you regularly check the people "doing anything to you or involving you" if they have been drinking?

What's that you don't?

Well then you have been well indoctrinated by the "if you make it legal your kids bus driver will be high at work!!!!" crowd.

Or does your assumption that people will obviously be regularly stoned at work come from somewhere else?
2013-11-24 02:33:21 PM  
1 vote:

Why don't we lay the blame at the feet of the REAL culprit...


076dd0a50e0c1255009e-bd4b8aabaca29897bc751dfaf75b290c.r40.cf1.rackcdn.com


Before I ship you off to military school with that Gawdamned Finkelstein shiat kid!

2013-11-24 02:20:03 PM  
1 vote:
I work with a guy who recently got popped for driving stoned and has been going on about the man being after him because he was black.

Seems like he walked into a convenience store,bought a blunt, emptied on the sidewalk in front of the store, rolled it up in his car and lit it up before he left the parking lot, and a cop saw the entire thing.

Smoking nor drinking and driving is cool.
2013-11-24 02:12:30 PM  
1 vote:

vbob: THC should not be part of a drug screen at work or otherwise. Keep the panels for hard drugs, but remove the marijuana component from the screening tests.


THC is still illegal on a federal level, which puts employers at a huge legal liability for employing individuals in certain professions who have it in their system. In addition, no offense to anyone who tokes up, but I don't want you doing anything to me or involving me if you don't have the willpower and maturity to stop smoking at least 8 hours to getting behind the wheel or clocking in.
2013-11-24 02:06:08 PM  
1 vote:
From the article and paraphrased:

20000 arrests per year for suspicion of impaired driving.

The math puts the % for those of those convicted of pot at 4%

Assuming every arrest led to a conviction, or that the per portion of those convicted is the same as those arrested for pot use,that is a low percentage.

There are roughly 4.5 million drivers licensed in Washington. If only 5% of those that drive pared were caught, that would be 8.9% of drivers impaired at some point in the year. For pot that makes it 0.36% of drivers impaired at some point in the year.

Frankly, I would have expected those numbers to be higher, but it does exclude habitual offenders.

Did that rise from previous years? I don't have that data.

/all math is grossly rounded and percentages are skewed to make the crime rate as scary as possible
2013-11-24 02:03:30 PM  
1 vote:
Oooh... I think I'm getting a context high...
2013-11-24 02:01:15 PM  
1 vote:

snocone: There is more than just "THC" going on here. Basically, 3 different active compounds of interest, with different human aeffects


It's still a handy shorthand for "the active ingredients in marijuana" in common parlance. I also don't gripe about people referring to a "pencil lead" because it's really graphite.
2013-11-24 01:55:12 PM  
1 vote:
Did the article mention there has only been one alleged pot fatality?

/DNTFA
2013-11-24 01:53:26 PM  
1 vote:
cdn.uproxx.com
2013-11-24 01:52:11 PM  
1 vote:
If you're stoned enough that the cops notice AND you fail the field impairment test, you shouldn't be on the road. The same should go for those too tired to drive.

Yes, you should get punished for this. I am totally okay with it.
2013-11-24 01:51:27 PM  
1 vote:

mazzz: Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that it's the *metabolites* that stay in the body for weeks/months. Typical drug tests are looking for those. If there is THC in the blood then you are probably under the influence.


UDS up to 5-10 days in most users, up to 30 in heavy users. Hair follicle test up to 3 months IIRC.
2013-11-24 01:42:43 PM  
1 vote:

casual disregard: If somebody is genuinely impaired to the point of posing a direct threat to his fellow drivers, that dickhead belongs in jail.

If somebody smoked a joint five days ago, I'm pretty sure his driving is no less worse than the other folks on the road who apparently are operating a motor vehicle for the very first time.

/maybe better


Or even lack of sleep, which is a significant impairment.
2013-11-24 01:35:25 PM  
1 vote:
THC stays in your blood for weeks.

What the fark is going on here?
2013-11-24 01:34:46 PM  
1 vote:
oh, look, "Christian Science"

/almost stopped reading there
//continued for a few sentences and laughed
///better luck fear mongering next time, ya puritan freaks
2013-11-24 01:33:42 PM  
1 vote:
MFAWG:I'm not defending it, but failing the roadside test involves impairment.

Not necessarily. There's a reason why you don't get a conviction on a subjective test conducted by a non-medically trained police officer alone, anymore. You either blow or get poked. (Giggity) When dealing with alcohol, you get an objectively measurable level, which has historically correlated to impairment in stud Bies. No such studies back up an arbitrary blood D9 THC level in correlation to impairment.

To put it another way, I can pull you over, and in five minutes find an objective, legally defensible reason to give you a breathalyzer test if I wanted to. Were you just twitching your eyes, or was that horizontal nystagmus I saw? Blow or go to jail.

I'm all four identification and jailing of impared drivers, as well as taking their licenses. DUI kills too many people each year.But the methods used to do such should be scientifically defensible and totally objective.
2013-11-24 01:31:21 PM  
1 vote:
Talk about wired! Pot-o-meter.
sub.allaboutcircuits.com
2013-11-24 01:29:11 PM  
1 vote:
Really?
Have accidents gone up proportionately?
Gee, why not?
Did any of these "drivers" fail any field sobriety tests?

What a load of the usual "uumm, pot is bad" bullroar demonizing a plant used safely for thousands of years by humans.

Not sure where you get your science, but I hope it is not here.
Hey, Mr Hot New Pope, want to make a change in your farking flock for the better?

/christian science/military intelligence
2013-11-24 01:24:11 PM  
1 vote:
If you can afford a lawyer, you can fight the charges. But in all circumstances, testing THC levels is pretty meaningless. It just assures a continued stream of citizens being hauled into the justice system, to replace those lost due to decriminalization.

The whole legalization thing didn't really start gaining ground until testing technology got better. Whether that makes it a money grab or a way to protect public safety is in the eye of the beholder I guess.




America's prison industrial complex hard at work. You didn't think they would let the producers and sellers get rich without ensuring their cut of the pie did you?
2013-11-24 01:23:32 PM  
1 vote:
Yeah. Found it. THC Testing is pretty much a sham.There is no national standard or evidenciary scientific standard for identifying an arbitrary limit for THC that correlates with behavioral impairment, unlike BAC.
 
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