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Victims of Drugged Drivers Take Issue with Proposed Marijuana-Impaired Driving Levels

Advocacy Groups Propose More Stringent Two-Tiered Approach Popular in Europe

The Canadian Government has promised that its C-46 bill to strengthen impaired driving laws will protect Canadians from drug impaired drivers after marijuana’s legalization. But an opposition brief filed today by DUID Victim Voices with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Parliament disagrees. The thoroughly-documented brief says C-46 is fundamentally flawed and threatens to make matters worse for victims of impaired driving. “Proper justice for DUID victims is not possible when perpetrators are not found guilty of driving under the influence and thus sentenced to a lesser crime,” says Ed Wood, founder of DUID Victim Voices.

C-46 seeks to establish per se levels for drugs based upon a belief that the same kind of per se levels that have been successful in dealing with alcohol-impaired driving can also work with drugs. That belief cannot be supported by any scientific studies. In particular, marijuana is so unlike alcohol chemically, biologically and metabolically, that the brief warns it is irrational to use a prescribed per se level for marijuana’s ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

DUID Victim Voices, an advocacy group for the victims of drug impaired driving, proposes that the bill be rewritten to support a tandem per se approach which is based on scientific research. “Adoption of defined drug per se levels that cannot be scientifically supported not only can also prevent victims of impaired driving from seeing justice, it also threatens public credibility and acceptance of the law,” Wood explains.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana of Canada is also supportive of the brief. “We endorse this rejection of Bill C-46. Survey data shows that young Canadians are not cognizant of the risk of driving impaired by marijuana. The country needs a massive public education program, which could take 15 years like the one for drunk driving awareness.” adds Pamela McColl of SAM Canada.

Alcohol per se levels work reasonably well where alcohol is the only impairing substance due to the following facts. Unfortunately, these facts are also unique to alcohol, don’t always apply to other drugs, and don’t apply at all to marijuana’s THC.

  1. Alcohol leaves the body linearly and at a slow and predictable rate, but:

On average, the maximum blood THC level is decreased by 73% from its peak level within 25 minutes of beginning to smoke a joint. The median time between a crash and taking a driver’s blood sample is two hours, so laboratory tests tell us nothing about the blood THC level at the time of the crash.

  1. Levels of alcohol in blood are similar to levels in the brain, but:

Marijuana’s THC is fat-soluble. It is very rapidly absorbed from the blood by highly perfused fatty tissues like the brain, heart, liver and lungs. Consequently, blood levels of THC tell us nothing about the levels of THC in the brain, which is the only place that really matters when trying to evaluate impairment. THC can even be found in the brain when none can be detected in blood.

  1. Blood levels of alcohol correlate very well with measured levels of impairment, but:

Laboratory blood levels of THC do not correlate at all with either brain levels of THC or impairment measurements.  A recent American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety report concluded, “A quantitative threshold for per se laws for THC following cannabis use cannot be scientifically supported.”

drug-impaired-driversBecause THC is so quickly redistributed from the blood to the brain and other organs, the majority of stoned drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs test below current proposed per se levels and would therefore escape OWI per se prosecution.

Having most stoned drivers escape prosecution may be an acceptable social policy for non-consequential OWI arrests, but many OWI cases involve death or serious bodily injuries.  Permitting the majority of those cases to escape prosecution is a miscarriage of justice that should not be tolerated.

Rather than a defined per se limit, DUID Victim Voices suggests that “tandem per se” be used to prove the crime of OWI per se. Using this approach, a person would be guilty of OWI per se under the following sequence of conditions:

  • The driver was arrested by an officer who had probable cause, based on the driver’s demeanor, behavior and observable impairment to believe that the driver was impaired; and
  • Proof that the driver had any amount of an impairing substance in his/her blood, oral fluid, or breath.

The tandem per se approach is consistent with the recommendation of the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety. It is similar to two-tier systems in place in Germany, France, Belgium and Finland.

DUID Victim Voices represents the interests of the victims of drugged driving, providing fact-based education and a victim perspective to decision makers and to the general public. Visit the website, duidvictimvoices.org. Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada is a bipartisan alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy. Visit learnaboutsam.ca  to learn more.

California Residents Petition Federal Government to Enforce the Law

CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS’ PETITION TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE FEDERAL LAWS AGAINST MARIJUANA

The citizens of California herewith call on the federal government to take whatever measures necessary to enforce federal marijuana laws now!  Today’s highly potent marijuana is inflicting mental illness, addiction and even death on our citizens*.  California boasts* having over 50,000 illegal outdoor marijuana cultivation sites that supply Californians with drugs as well as 60% of the United States with black market marijuana.   These grows are devastating our natural resources and pristine ecosystems, contributing to the 100% increase in traffic deaths due to marijuana, bolstering the fact that over 50% of all arrestees in our state test positive for marijuana and creating unhealthy communities for raising families*.

Marijuana for recreational use should be strictly prohibited.  Local pot dispensaries are magnets for crime and traffic accidents, and provide easy access to marijuana for young people who are most vulnerable to its neurological harms. Private cultivation and dispensaries should be banned.  The outcomes from “medical marijuana” in California are negative* – more crime, homelessness, addiction, academic failure as well as traffic deaths.  We want safe and healthy communities, and we urge the federal government to take action now by enforcing federal laws against marijuana!

Federal Petition to Act – sponsors, purpose and sources

Here is a copy of the petition.  PLEASE SIGN it.

 Petition sponsored by anti-drug groups based in California:  Take Back America Campaign www.tbac.us, Roger Morgan (916) 434-5629, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) www.calmca.org, Carla Lowe (916) 708-4111

Purpose:  The federal government hears from the marijuana industry all the time.  They are well-funded and politically active.  Federal officials say they “never” hear from people on the anti-side of marijuana.  Now you can let your anti-drug voice be heard.  In fact, a majority of Californian’s would rather not see marijuana use increase in their communities.  Nor do they want to see advertising or other commercial activities that encourage the purchase and use of marijuana while decrease public safety and health.

Because we don’t have millions in legislative funds to use to lobby congress, the Executive branch or important government agencies like the FDA and DEA, those of us against the increase of marijuana in our communities have to work extra hard to be heard – let your voice be heard now!

* Sources:   California Senator Mark McGuire cultivation claim 2015, Crancer traffic studies 2010 & 2016, ADAM II Report, Dr. B Madras, California Fish & Game Assoc. 2010, NIDA – Monitoring the Future 2010, UC Davis/Duke Study 2016 Persistent Cannabis Dependence- Longitudinal Study, Dr. Forest Tennent

Why Communities Should Ban Marijuana Dispensaries

WHY COMMUNITIES SHOULD BAN MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
By Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign

The two most important responsibilities of elected officials at any level are to protect the people and tax dollars. Neither is possible by allowing the cultivation and/or sale of marijuana in a community.
First of all, It is a federally banned Schedule 1 drug because it has no accepted medicinal use, can’t be administered properly under supervision, and has the potential for harm. Real medicines have known compounds, dosage and potency, and must be reproducible in a uniform manner. Smoking has never been approved as a delivery vehicle. Edibles, vaping and dabbing range in potency, compounds and dosage in such a wide range, consistency is impossible, not to mentioned most are laced with pesticides.

Credible scientific research will affirm that marijuana is a dangerous drug. Marijuana is fat-soluble and stays in the body and brain for a month, compounding with each additional use. Even in the 60s and 70s when the potency of the drug ranged from ½ to 2%, the human harms were significant. Today, the potency in smoked form ranges from 20 to 30%. Edibles have a normal range of 50 to 80%, and waxes and oils used in vaping and dabbing go as high as 98%. The harms have escalated proportionally.

Marijuana causes permanent structural changes in developing brains, anyone under age 25. The age groups with the highest consumption are 18-25 and 12-17, both under the threshold. The harms include loss of IQ; problems with memory, cognition and learning; and psychotic breaks leading to horrific acts of violence. Pot users are 7 times more likely to commit suicide, and 5 times more susceptible to schizophrenia, paranoia and bi-polar condition. 17% of those who start using before 18 will become addicted, 9% of those who start after 18. Marijuana is a known cause of cancer, chronic bronchitis, cardiac problems, birth defects. Traffic deaths owing to marijuana impairment have doubled. Roughly 13% of drivers on the road today are impaired to varying degrees, putting everyone at risk.

Over 50% of arrestees for all crimes test positive for pot, 59% in Sacramento. It is a gateway to drugs that kill 144 Americans daily due to overdose, almost all of whom started their drug journey with pot. It is a major cause of high school dropouts. Academically, America is 24th (last) in the world, with a one-third dropout rate. According to UC Santa Barbara, the life time cost of one dropout is $392,000.

Dispensaries are magnets for crime. Their products serve as the root cause of human pain, suffering and death. They are drug dealers with store fronts, and a threat to the health and safety of any community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ….

Roger Morgan
Roger Morgan, Director

ROGER MORGAN Chairman/Founder, Take Back America Campaign, is a 20 year anti-drug activist dealing with drug prevention at the local, state and national level. (www.tbac.us). Formerly Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California. Owner/CEO of Steelheart International LLC, engaged in international business development and has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 37 years. He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation in 1997, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado.

Calaveras County Suffering with Illegal Pot Grows

My name is Bill McManus and I have been battling pot in Calaveras County for over three years.  I am a ZERO TOLERANCE activist to rid our county of all commercial cultivation of pot.  I know we have to deal with PROP 64 (California’s Recreational Pot Initiative which passed 11/16), but even that law allows for banning outdoor grows based on a county’s jurisdiction to regulate land use.

(Please join those trying to Save Calaveras County.     Here is a previous article on the problems and the crime.)

I have seen this criminal enterprise up close and personal.  Hundreds, if not thousands of residents are considering leaving our county because of the abuse of the pot cartels.  I myself have been assaulted twice and had both of my vehicles vandalized.  One thing is crystal clear, if you allow any of it, you get all of it and according to the latest info from Central Valley HIDTA, Calaveras county is rivaling the Emerald Triangle for illegal pot production.

Crime Went Way Up!

In the last two years, crime has gone up 400%.  The District Attorney is handling 18 marijuana-related murders in our county, a county with only 45,000 residents!  

negatives-marijuana-legalizationOur small county has somewhere between 1500 and 2000 illegal grows.  We have had human trafficking problems, illegal timber harvests, illegal grading, illegal stream diversions, water theft, destroyed rural roads from water trucks hauling stolen water out to pot grows, one family in the Federal Witness Protection Program because the husband serviced porta potties at a pot grow………the list goes on and on.

If you want to see the ugly side of the pot cartels, give me a call. I will show you what is going on and introduce you to people who are afraid to leave their homes because of nearby pot grows.  Identified cartels in this county include, Hmongs, Motorcycle gangs from the valley, Mexican mafia, Russian mafia, Jamaican Cartels, Asian cartels, and refugee cartels from the Emerald Triangle.  BAN it, BAN it all.  If even one hair’s breadth of opening is given to them, you will LOSE the battle, your lifestyles, your security in your home, and all sense of community.

Grab a flak vest and come visit Calaveras County. By the way, county Code Compliance officials are not allowed to enter any pot grow without a sheriff escort……what about the citizens who remain behind after the inspections?

Check out our website www.bancommercialcultivation.com

Bill McManus, Chair – The Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation

PS: don’t contact me regarding compromise……the IS the hill I will die on.   Join the team on our Facebook page: Ban Commercial Cultivation