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Imagine Getting Arrested For A Joint You Smoked 2 Weeks Ago???

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by 2 blaazed, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. 2 blaazed

    2 blaazed New Jack

    Joined: Jun 28, 2002 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 3
    Imagine if it were against the law to drive home after consuming a single glass of wine at dinner. Now imagine it is illegal to drive after having consumed a single glass of wine two weeks ago. Guess what? If you smoke pot, it's time to stop imagining.

    Legislation weaving its way through the US Congress demands all 50 states pass laws granting police the power to drug test drivers and arrest anyone found to have "any detectable amount of a controlled substance ... present in the person's body, as measured in the person's blood, urine, saliva, or other bodily substance." Though the expressed purpose of the law is to target and remove drug-impaired drivers from US roadways, the proposal would do nothing of the sort.

    Most troubling, the proposed law -- H.R. 3922 -- does not require motorists to be identifiably impaired or intoxicated in order to be criminally charged with the crime of "drugged driving." Rather, police have only to demonstrate that the driver has detectable levels of illicit drugs or inactive drug metabolites in their blood, sweat, saliva or urine. As many pot smokers know, marijuana metabolites are fat soluble, and remain identifiable in the urine for days and sometimes even weeks after past use. Consequently someone who smoked a joint on Monday could conceivably be arrested on Friday and charged with "drugged driving," even though they are perfectly sober!

    Here's how the law would work. Police, at their discretion, could order motorists during a traffic stop to undergo a drug test, most likely a urine test. If the driver's urine tests positive for prior pot use then he or she would automatically be charged and eventually found guilty of the criminal offense of driving under the influence of drugs -- even if the pot in question was consumed weeks earlier. Under the law, the fact that the driver is not impaired is irrelevant; the only "evidence" necessary is the positive test result.

    So Who's Behind This?

    Over the past five years, a small cabal of prohibitionists, drug testing proponents and toxicologists have pushed for legislation criminalizing drivers who operate a vehicle with inert drug metabolites present in their system. To date, their efforts have persuaded ten states -- Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Wisconsin -- to pass such "drugged driving" laws, known as zero-tolerance per se laws. Leading this charge is the Walsh Group, a federally funded organization that develops drug testing technology and lobbies for rigid workplace drug testing programs. Walsh Group President, Michael Walsh, is the former Director of the Division of Applied Research at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and formerly served as the Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), informally known as the Drug Czar's office

    In November 2002, the group partnered with the ONDCP to lobby state legislatures to amend their drugged driving laws. Every state has laws on the books prohibiting motorists from driving "under the influence" of a controlled substance. Like drunk driving laws, virtually all of these laws require the motorists to be impaired by their drug use in order to be charged with "drugged driving."

    Nevertheless, the Walsh Group argued that these existing laws are too lax on illicit drug users. To bolster their claim, they argued -- without explanation -- that actually linking illicit drug use to impaired driving is a "technically complicated and difficult task." Their solution? States should enact zero tolerance per se laws redefining "drugged drivers" as any motorist who tests positives for any level of illicit drugs or drug metabolites, regardless of whether their driving is impaired.

    "There is clearly a need for national leadership at the federal level to develop model statutes and to strongly encourage the states to modify their laws," the organization concluded in a widely disseminated report. Notably, the authors failed to mention that the widespread enactment of such a policy would be a political and financial windfall for the Walsh Group's drug testing technology and consulting services.

    The Walsh Group is hardly the only organization with something to gain from the Bush administration's proposed "drugged driving" crackdown. Speaking at a White House-sponsored symposium in February, former 1970s Drug Czar Robert Dupont -- another ex-NIDA director who now heads the workplace drug testing consultation firm Bensinger, Dupont & Associates (BDA) -- also demanded the federal government mandate zero-tolerance drugged driving laws.

    "Workplace drug testing has prepared us for drugged driving testing," Dupont told attendees, arguing that just as many public and private employees are subjected to random drug screening, so should be motorists. Those drivers who test positive, says Dupont, should then be monitored through regularly scheduled drug tests, including hair testing, for a period of two to five years.

    "The benefits of this approach will be improved highway safety," he concluded, failing to explain how punishing sober drivers while simultaneously lining BDA's pockets would make America's roadways any safer.

    Cruising on Cannabis: What's the Problem?

    "Driving under the influence of, or after having used, illegal drugs has become a significant problem worldwide," states the preamble to H.R. 3922. However, despite the government's claim, epidemiological evidence on the number of motorists who drive under the influence of illicit drugs is scarce.

    Further, among the limited evidence that does exist, much of it finds that pot's measurable yet relatively mild effects on psychomotor skills do not appear to play a significant role in vehicular crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. "Crash culpability studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes," summarized researchers Gregory Chesher and Marie Longo in the recent book Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. A 2002 Canadian Senate report was even more succinct, stating, "Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving."

    Nonetheless, Congress' proposed bill specifically and disproportionately targets motorists who may occasionally smoke pot because marijuana's metabolites exit the body more slowly than other drug metabolites, often remaining detectable in urine for several weeks at a time. Equally troubling, there currently exists no technology that can accurately correlate drug metabolite concentration to impairment of performance.

    Of course, such concerns are no bother to those in Congress who intend to ride this latest wave of drug war rhetoric to reelection. Nor are they of much worry to those in the drug testing industry who stand to make a fortune prosecuting and jailing sober pot smokers.

    As for everybody else, be afraid; be very afraid. And be sure to keep a fresh sample of urine in the glove compartment.

  2. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 4
    That sucks, but then again i hardly do anything of that sort at this point aside from occasional psilocybin use.. but im not worried about that showing up on tests.
  3. fannypack2

    fannypack2 Member

    Joined: Aug 18, 2003 Messages: 263 Likes Received: 0
    but not for me
  4. GucciCondom

    GucciCondom Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2003 Messages: 5,558 Likes Received: 168
    When they listed the 10 states were they trying to say it is active in those states? I live in PA and I never heard of this shit. Sounds retarded as hell.
  5. Abracadabra

    Abracadabra Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Dec 28, 2001 Messages: 22,906 Likes Received: 113
    that saliva test thing is already in effect over here i think. it was bought into use a month or two ago.
  6. 00

    00 Junior Member

    Joined: Jun 7, 2004 Messages: 120 Likes Received: 0
    isnt that some form of illegal search and siezure?because there is no evidence of the driver actually being impaired

    officer discression is one of the most un fair phrases ever...
  7. MrChupacabra

    MrChupacabra 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 10, 2001 Messages: 10,940 Likes Received: 683
    I live in minnesota and i have never heard of this or heard of it being used on anyone. I'm calling bullshit, they can't pull you over for speeding and just decide to give you a drug test for the hell of it. Anyways, what are they going to do, make someone piss in a container on the side of the road or are they actually going to bring a person back to the station just to give them a random drug test. Doesn't seem true to me.
  8. jazzy maid

    jazzy maid New Jack

    Joined: Jun 1, 2004 Messages: 89 Likes Received: 0
    Mr.Chup have you ever come into contact with a police officer? i hate to bust your bubble but unless the midwest law enforcement is happy go lucky compaired to the south's.. cops can do whatever they want. probable cause is whatever they say.. their the law, and their dicks. try taking them to court, it's useless.

    this does suck, though also not for me. But as soon as a couple states hop this bandwagon the rest of them will.
  9. Dr. Dazzle

    Dr. Dazzle Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 19, 2001 Messages: 8,147 Likes Received: 3
  10. some pittsburgh flavor

    some pittsburgh flavor Elite Member

    Joined: Mar 31, 2001 Messages: 4,936 Likes Received: 0
    ah... relating marijuana and alcohol...

    alcohol is so much worse than marijuana, especially directly after consumption. The way alcohol treats one's body is worse, one's motor skills and judgement are worse... you know what i mean? who's ever been all smokey and running down the street with his shirt off screaming racist obscenities and beating up people? who goes home high after smoking a joint and beats their wife and kids with the vacuum cord? who has ever been addicted to marijuana and had it ruin their/their families' lives? you see what i'm saying?

    the fact that there are bars is really wierd, too. While drunk, or even after having a few drinks and not being drunk (like a normal person), one cannot drive home from the bar, walk home from the bar, or even ride a bike home from the bar. yeah, you can't leave the bar legally until the alcohol is out of your system. and i also don't know why cops haven't parked outside bars and arrested eevryone that walked out of them, just to be dicks. yet they'll be at your chill in-the-cut smoke spot trying to bust some heads.

    and anyone with a prescription to an opiate pain killer like oxy- or hydrocodone will get the boot for being all fucked up on opiates trying to drive a car. hello, zero-tolerance.
  11. mikro137

    mikro137 Guest

    my son that would be entrapment. well more or less....
  12. Fugazi

    Fugazi Senior Member

    Joined: Dec 17, 2001 Messages: 1,298 Likes Received: 1
    So I guess the big point of contention is that the marijuana use could have been in the weeks past... correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't using marijuana illegal in the first place? Hate to rain on anyone's parade, but if you do drugs, you run a risk. Getting arrested for a crime that you *did* commit, regardless of when it was, is a bitch, but it's a risk we all willingly take. I suppose this will digress into a legalize marijuana campaign from here, or perhaps an informative lecture on why cigarettes or alcohol are worse then marijuana... or perhaps even how marijuana increases intellectual prowess, I haven't heard that one in at least a week.
  13. CrazyLazy

    CrazyLazy Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 17, 2003 Messages: 1,681 Likes Received: 0
    I always wondered why they didn't do that. Now I know.

    And knowing is half the battle.
  14. willy.wonka

    willy.wonka Guest

    they check our doo-doo over here
  15. Ferris Bueller

    Ferris Bueller Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 25, 2000 Messages: 4,246 Likes Received: 71
    The fact that this proposed idea is making it's way through congress is retarded.

    It's just so blatantly irrelevant.

    And I hope to God Pawlenty says no.