I was recently in a conversation with a friend about the effects of driving while stoned versus driving while drunk. He was of the opinion that they were equally bad while I was of the opinion that marijuana had little to no effect on driving. Well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is here to tell me that I was right. *does the “I was right” victory dance*
Yep, there is a negligible effect on the rates of getting into an accident while under the effects of THC. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re safe to smoke up before getting behind the wheel. The problem is that, unlike alcohol, ingesting a certain amount of THC has unpredictable outcomes. What it does for one person can be radically different from what it does for others. That means that while people with the same blood-alcohol level tend to be impaired at the same level, people with the same THC levels in their blood stream have varying levels of impairment.
What we need is more science! Sadly, since marijuana is still considered a schedule one substance, there is little research that can be done at this point. How marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin is beyond comprehension and common sense. Hopefully, that will soon change.
Do you want to reduce gun homicides? Sure, we all do! There are some really easy steps we can make to accomplish this.
First and foremost among these steps would be to repeal drug laws.
Oh, you mean THOSE gun homicides! Those mostly affect people who are not nearly as white as me. Can we get back to talking about preventing white people from getting killed by guns?
Dripping sarcasm aside, repealing drug laws and regulating and taxing their sale would solve a whole lot of our social ills. Not only will it likely drastically lower the homicide rate, it will also raise governmental income while reducing incredibly costly governmental spending on drug interdiction.
I don’t mean to make this sound like a panacea for all our problems. Drug addiction is a serious issue. Repealing some drug laws will likely lead to an immediate increase in drug addiction cases in the short term. But if that is the price we pay for saving lives, it seems worth it for me.
Using drugs is an individual choice. (I don’t actually believe this in most cases, but it’s a belief popularly held by most people.) The taking of a life is an act that removes individual choice. By repealing drug laws we would be reducing the instances of forced removal of choice by increasing the freedom of choice.