07 May Drug Driving Proposals Are Unjust, Unscientific And Dishonest
Of course, no one should drive whilst impaired in any way but the proposed new drug driving law is nothing to do with this principle. It is, in fact, just another knee jerk reaction from a government that formulates its policies based on tabloid headlines rather than science or justice.
Quite properly, anyone who drives whilst their judgement or motor skills are impaired should be taken off the road and there need to be deterrent punishments to ensure that such behaviour is prevented. However, any such law needs to be based on accurate and scientific measurement of impairment as our drink driving laws always have been.
Alcohol, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines are all recognised by our body as poisons and so are excreted as quickly as possible. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, are natural substances compatible with our body chemistry and beneficial to health. For this reason our body retains them and they can be detected for many hours, days, weeks or even months after cannabis has been consumed, well after any impairment has worn off.
How are users of the prescription medicine Sativex going to be treated? If cannabinoids are detected in their system, are they going to be exempt from penalties or is there going to some distinction between licit and illicit cannabinoids – and how is this going to be determined?
What about users of prescription pain killers, tranquilisers, hay fever remedies and a host of other medicines which inarguably do cause impairment? How is the danger they cause going to be controlled?
At what level is having drugs in the system going to be an offence? We already allow some impairment through alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all. It is well established that at the current limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood there is already signifiicant impairment. Yet it seems that this proposed drug driving law is going to be far too simplistic. Any level at all of the drugs singled out (which may cause far less impairmnent than alcohol) will be an offence.
This proposal is for an unjust and unscientific law which discriminates against some drug users for reasons of prejudice and hatred. It has nothing to do with preventing accidents. It is about a weak government seeking to generate cheap, tabloid headlines.
The insurance industry already knows that cannabis users are safer drivers than drinkers: http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers/
Research from the US shows that where a regulated supply of cannabis is available traffic accidents and deaths from accidents are reduced: http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-traffic-deaths/