Judge rejects bid to block Washington state "stoned driving" rules

Comments (32)
heb wrote:

Wait until someone hits, injures or even kills someone inthis lawyers’ family and then see where he is at with this lawsuit. What a maroon. If you are injured you should be able to press charges for SDUII regardless of the reason. You have a choice to take public transportation and if you can’t afford it stay home nad stay stoned or do your drugs later at less expense possible to the general public who seem to be far more responsible.

Dec 08, 2012 9:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
dayhay wrote:

Driving on medicine? It is no different than driving on any pain medication…illegal. In my state it’s illegal to drive on an antihistamine. Take the bus.

Dec 08, 2012 10:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
DiabeticNerd wrote:

The problems is with the means by which they measure the presence of THC and how those levels are affecting your ability to drive safely. The threshold is so low that many people who may have smoked a day ago are above the limit. The science is still new and will take time to work out. What is needed is a test that measures your ability to drive based on reaction time, awareness, ect… But then 1/2 the “sober, non-pot smoker” drivers and most over 85 years old would fail!!

Dec 08, 2012 10:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
dnarex wrote:

As for medical marijuana, it is no different than any other drug. If you are using Oxycontin, Ambien, whatever, and are driving impaired, you can be arrested. Impaired is impaired. Just because you have an illness that requires you use intoxicating medication does not give you the right to put your fellow citizens’ lives in peril.

Dec 08, 2012 10:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
jabusse wrote:

I drink for my health, Why can’t the drunk driving rules be suspended for drinkers too!!! Dumb ass attorney. So long as he is stoned who cares how many people he hurts.

Dec 08, 2012 10:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
boogetyshoo wrote:

No big deal. In New Jersey if you apply for med marijuana prescription, you must surrender your drivers license. That makes sense as it will prevent dopers from killing or injuring innocent motorists or pedestrians. Same should have been part of the legislation in this case.

Dec 08, 2012 11:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
pateriot92 wrote:

The more stoned you are the more sense this all makes to you! It sounds that most of the Left coast sees this with perfect clarity!!

Dec 08, 2012 11:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
Krymsun wrote:

A 2002 review of seven separate crash culpability studies involving 7,934 drivers reported, “Crash culpability studies [which attempt to correlate the responsibility of a driver for an accident to his or her consumption of a drug and the level of drug compound in his or her system] 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.” [Chesher et al. Cannabis and alcohol in motor vehicle accidents. In: Grotenhermen and Russo (Eds) Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. New York: Haworth Press. 2002: 313-323.]

But, unlike with alcohol, the accident risk caused by cannabis, particularly among those who are not acutely intoxicated, appears limited because subjects under its influence are generally aware of their impairment and compensate to some extent, such as by slowing down and by focusing their attention when they know a response will be required. [Allison Smiley. Marijuana: On-Road and Driving Simulator Studies]

This response is the opposite of that exhibited by drivers under the influence of alcohol, who tend to drive in a more risky manner proportional to their intoxication.[United Kingdom's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The Classification of Cannabis Under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. 2002: See specifically: Chapter 4, Section 4.3.5: "Cannabis differs from alcohol; ... it seems not to increase risk-taking behavior. This may explain why it appears to play a smaller role than alcohol in road traffic accidents."]

Dec 08, 2012 11:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
CmdrBuzz wrote:

Wonder how you dim-wit liberals will feel when you get creamed by some mush brain twenty something pot head who runs into you while stoned on pot?

Dec 08, 2012 12:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hermeneutica wrote:

Of COURSE being stoned is a public saftey hazard! The fact that they would endorse a drug that psychologically alters an individual only reflects they are on it too… and don’t compare a temporary depressant as alchol, comparable to caffeine. WE KNOW this nonsense leads to stronger narcotics when it fails to do the job for A LARGE PERCENTAGE of USERS. This amounts to nothing more than the slow suicide of denial.

Dec 08, 2012 2:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
goofygoof wrote:

The government does such a great job at keep 100% of drunks off the road so why should we worry?

Dec 08, 2012 3:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JCarlosM wrote:

Just like driving on pain killers, or xanax, or alcohol is illegal, driving stoned should have repercussions as well (and it already is btw), the problem, as always, will be the lack of a test to determine how stoned a person is at the time.

Dec 08, 2012 4:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dlf1013 wrote:

My State (New Mexico) is considering a law to legalize pot here. We do have medical Marijuana laws on the books, but I think it would be wise to wait and see what kind of disasters occur in Colorado and Washington before jumping on the Bandwagon.
In my youth I tried pot and driving is very scary, so enforce those dui laws.

Dec 08, 2012 5:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
blacknblue2 wrote:

Can we block driving while on Alprazolam, Diphenhydramine and the myriad of other things? We must protect at all costs, even if it means having no person freedom to enjoy life. Imagine all the people that will be getting busted on those antihistamines and anti-anxiety drugs.

Forty years ago life was so much more enjoyable and relaxing. Now everyone and everything is controlled. It almost makes me hope December 21st will bring an end to this modern day prison we call life.

Cameras everywhere, radar everywhere, checkpoints and you really think this is the free America? Really?!?!?!?!?

Dec 08, 2012 5:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@CmdrBuzz

I must have missed the big pandemic of driving under the influence of marijuana in our country. Do you have any statistics at all, or are you just another religious bigot hell bent on denying Americans their liberties at all costs so you can enforce your moral ideals on everyone?

Dec 08, 2012 8:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chuckterzella wrote:

Look, if you’re taking meds that can affect your driving, then you’ve gotta deal with the fact That You’re Taking Meds That Can Affect Your Driving!

And unless the cops are driving around with lists of medical marijuana users and stopping them for random checks, then the only reason they pulled you over was BECAUSE THE MEDS YOU’RE TAKING AFFECTED YOUR DRIVING!

Idiot.

Dec 08, 2012 11:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WallaBingBang wrote:

They could just do a saliva test — as far as I am aware those would only tell if you smoked that day.

Dec 09, 2012 1:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
RIGHT_ON wrote:

Your right to drive under the influence of medical mary jane. What about my right to LIVE,,,while you are cruising around stoned. It is like the first in the bill of rights….The right to LIFE…liberty….

Sit at home and toke your smoke, dont get in a car to threaten my life or my son.

Dec 09, 2012 8:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
kestrel27 wrote:

Well, one thing is for sure, unlike the drunks, the stoners will be driving 30 mhp under the speed limit feeling they are going 100mph. That’s if they don’t put off their driving until tomorrow like they do everything else. Hell, it’s entirely possible that they will be sitting in the car, completely stopped, believing they are actually going somewhere. You just know all the Ron Paul supporters are going to be moving to Washington state where they will be amongst all their fellow Democrats.

Dec 09, 2012 9:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

As long as a pot smoker does not harm me, I really don’t care if they feed their addiction. But if someone driving car while high hits my car, or hurts me while stoned, they will suffer severe consequences outside of the law.

Dec 09, 2012 10:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
rollzone wrote:

hello. i do not agree it is the job of an enforcement officer to bring a driver into a crony justice system whom in their opinion they have observed driving impaired. they should rescue society by apprehending that individual, and safely transporting them to their destination.

Dec 09, 2012 11:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
timeisrelativ wrote:

At issue here is that the state law says that you are “under the influence” if you have a THC level of 5 nanograms per milimeter of blood, even if you are not actually impared and can pass a road side sobriety test with flying colors. Most medical marijuana patients have a level higher than that even days after abstaining from their medicine and are perfectly sober. The problem is that there’s no legal wiggle room. A medical patient can be perfectly sober at 5ng/ml level, while someone who has never smoked before would be impaired.

Dec 09, 2012 11:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
rollzone wrote:

hello again. for further clarification, the driver should be allowed to call 2 friends- (one to drive their vehicle), or the police must provide public transport; …either a private transport company, or their back seat. also, it should be an automatic 2 strike rule. the second offense results in automatic suspension of driving privilege.

Dec 09, 2012 11:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
KaosHiker wrote:

Statistics can always be manipulated to make things appear they are worse than they are.
Example .. If someone is driving home from work, and their ball joint breaks the tire spins sideways or falls off. They hit a tree.
Accident right.
If some one is coming from the Bar where he had two drinks. same scenario. But now it is no longer just an accident.
Now it is an alcohol related statistic. Caused by a Drunk Driver.

Do I advocate Drunk Driving … No. Actually I dont Drink.
I am just saying sometimes an accident is just an accident.

People act like marijuana is some kind of powerful pschotropic hallucinogen. Like LSD or something.
( wow look at all the colors.I think I can fly.)
There is No amount of Marijuana you could smoke to make You lose control of your faculties. You dont stumble around and fall down.You dont slur your speech.You dont think You can fly either.
I would get on a bus driven by a Driver who just smoked an entire bag of weed.Before I would get on a bus with a Driver that just pounded a fifth of Jack.

Dec 09, 2012 12:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

Sad to see the uneducated conservatives blindly following their ‘ War on Drugs’ without knowing the facts, here is the most glaring example…

Hermeneutica alluded to Marijuana being a ‘gateway drug’. Well the facts show something different, in fact the facts show that the ‘war on drugs’ is what causes Marijuana to be a ‘gateway drug’. Other countries that have either decriminalized or legalized it, like Portugal and the Netherlands, have pretty much the same use rates of Marijuana as the USA. But their use rates for harder drugs are MUCH lower. This tells me that the criminalization of Marijuana and grouping it in with the ‘hard’ drugs is what makes it a ‘gateway drug’ not the actual substance itself.

The problem with the law in WA, I should know i live in WA, is that there is no clarification of what type of test to use, or standards for it. To my knowledge it could have been days since you smoked and still show positive. I am not disagreeing that there should be some DUI for pot-smoking, but there already was and this law just gives WAY to much power, in an arbitrary way, to the police officer. It would be fine if it defined it better, but too much of the decision is in the hands of the police officer instead of the law. The sad thing is it was right the way it was before, even before this law it was still illegal to drive under the influence of ANYTHING, they just mucked up with regards to pot.

On a side note, the other bad thing about this law is that it has no grown your own component, utter stupidity.

Dec 09, 2012 12:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DrMaila wrote:

The paranoia of the stoners kicks in. How are the police going to know you’re a drug addict before they stop you? If they think you’re impaired, they have EVERY right to stop you, regardless of why you’re impaired. That goes for texting, yelling at the bratty kids in the backseat, and mind-altering substances of all kinds.

For those of you who astonishingly postulate that weed causes “better” driving impairment than other drugs, know that numerous studies have shown that slower drivers (among steady traffic going a higher speed) cause more accidents than do speeding drivers in the opposite situation. Therefore, stoners WILL cause more accidents if they drive slower and “more carefully” (LOL).

If you want to waste away your life and kill what few brain cells you appear to have, you have every right to do that in the privacy of your single-family home. You do NOT, under ANY circumstances, have the right to go out into society in even a slightly impaired state. My attorney is already well prepared: if any impaired individual (for any reason) causes harm or death to anyone I know, that individual is going to wish he or she never took a hit. He will lose every possession and every penny he ever made, not to mention never be able to hold a job higher than McD’s ever again. Think I’m bluffing? Try me. We’re ready. My life and health are FAR more important than your buzz. ALWAYS.

Dec 09, 2012 1:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MattHouse wrote:

Come on, seriously… if you’re too wasted to drive safely, who cares how, or why you got that way. You’re too wasted to drive, end of story.

Dec 09, 2012 2:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
CNAP03-2011 wrote:

If it is so harmless to smoke pot and drive then it should be easy enough for those individuals to get insurance let us say at least 1/2 or 1 million dollars that would cover them if they had any type of accident.

For the fool that said old people are a greater hazard, let me remind him that my insurance has gone down every 5th birthday. I’m now 67 and at 70 will get another decrease. My automobile insurance company currently covers people until they are 90 years old. So it would seem that insurance companies disagree with the notion that old people are unsafe drivers and hold to the notion that young people are the unsafe drivers and that drunks and stoners are really unsafe as my insurance company will not give them a policy.

I would bet that your insurance company would drop you like a hot potato if you told them you smoke pot and drive after words. I always like to leave it to the experts that make money on statistics they seldom get it wrong.

Dec 09, 2012 4:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@kestrel27

I think I would prefer Colorado to Washington. They are both beautiful states though.

Dec 09, 2012 9:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Sorry idiot drug users, you may have the right to smoke it, which is perfectly ok in a free society but that does not give you the right to put anyone else at risk because you take drugs. I am sure more will come when drug users find employers unwilling to hire or being told they cant keep the forklift driving job because of drugs. Again, just because you have the right to use a drug, does not mean everyone else is forced to deal with you. If you cant do your drugs without risking others or have your job and do drugs, too bad for you. Either do drugs or have jobs and drive, you wont be doing both.

Dec 09, 2012 9:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

Folks should not drive while impaired, whether it’s from prescribed medicines, non-prescribed medicines, alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or uncontrolled medical conditions.

PERIOD.

The difficult part is determining what amount of active chemical content in the blood constitutes “impaired”.

Uncontrolled medical conditions are a tough one.

Dec 09, 2012 11:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

One big difference between booze and pot.. is booze impairs judgement; makes you think you are ok to drive when you aren’t.

Pot not so much, plus pot is a milder buzz than booze, in spite of what ‘new’ and ‘non’ users think.

But the biggest thing is; when you get a pot buzz – you don’t usually want to go anywhere anyway! lol

Dec 11, 2012 11:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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