MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

Marijuana and driving.

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Marijuana and driving.

Postby rabble » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:12 pm

From the NIH:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths. A recent survey found that 6.8 percent of drivers, mostly under age 35, who were involved in accidents tested positive for THC; alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21 percent of such drivers.

Okay, is there someone with a math background out there to break those numbers down?

I see 6.8 percent test positive for pot, 21% for alcohol, and of course, the old standard: everyone involved was tested, whether they were at fault or not.

If 6.8 percent tested positive for THC, and 18 percent of all accidents involved marijuana or cocaine, doesn't that mean pot is like, way WAY down the list, and most of the people involved in accidents didn't test positive for anything?
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby snoqueen » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:21 pm

Then there's the problem where the tests show marijuana evidence but the psychoactive aspect is long gone, because traces remain in your body for several days.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11437
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby david cohen » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:13 pm

either way I think driving baked is just as dangerous as driving drunk so I won't take much solace in any statistics.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby rabble » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:18 pm

david cohen wrote:either way I think driving baked is just as dangerous as driving drunk so I won't take much solace in any statistics.

Sure.

But you'd think they could come up with better numbers than something that appears to show that most accidents happen to sober people.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:29 pm

rabble wrote:But you'd think they could come up with better numbers than something that appears to show that most accidents happen to sober people.


Except the numbers appear to show that is the case. Testing for the effects of foreign substances after an accident will probably never get much mainstream backlash. Testing for stupid would.

Discouraging drug or alcohol use while operating a motor vehicle is also a lot more likely to succeed than discouraging stupidity.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby rabble » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:36 pm

And of course, we probably don't have an estimate of the percentage of sober people on the road at any given time, even if we can say with some confidence that it drops on a weekend evening.

So it might be that out of 100 people who get in a car and drive while impaired, 86 of them will have an accident compared to twenty or thirty out of a hundred sober drivers. But there aren't any such estimates.

Or are there? If I was an insurer I'd think about taking a stab at that based on traffic estimates vs accidents. But I'm not sure I'd want to share my results.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Are there any tests for THC or other illegal drugs that are anything more than a binary yes/no? In some future where pot is legalized, I would expect that you'd want a distinction between having taken a single puff four hours before getting pulled over versus actively hotboxing down the highway.

Maybe the field test involves placing a bag of potato chips in front of you and if you can resist tearing into them for ten minutes, the cops let you go.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2865
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby rabble » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:46 pm

No, I don't think they can test to see if you got high half an hour ago or last week.

And of course when pot is legal it won't be cost prohibitive to eat it any more, so one wouldn't necessarily need to hotbox to drive baked.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby penquin » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:57 pm

A urine test will detect usage anywhere from 3 to 30 days, depending on how heavy of a toker they are. Hair follicle testing can find most substances that were used in the past 90 days. A blood test will detect use anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. None of those tests actually test for THC, rather they check for metabolites (which shows that the body was in contact with THC). A saliva test for the presence of actual THC, rather than metabolites, will detect marijuana usage in the past couple hours. (Maybe up to 24 for a heavy smoker)

Any guesses which one(s) they use to determine if a driver is DUI? I'll give ya a hint: It ain't the saliva one...

That aside, the Dept of Transportation did a study in '93 on impaired driving. Their whole report is best summed up with these two statements: "Alcohol impaired driving performance but subjects did not perceive it. THC did not impair driving performance yet the subjects thought it had."

In 1980, Car & Driver Magazine also did an experiment on this issue, with the intentions of showing that of COURSE it was hard to drive while high. However, instead they determined that driving abilities are not impaired when poking smot and instead one of the test subjects was shown to do better the more he toked.

Instead of making it illegal to be high while driving, perhaps it should be mandatory to puff up before starting your ignition.
penquin
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:10 pm

It would probably cut down on incidents of road rage at the very least
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby gargantua » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:27 pm

There are just so many variables involved with the effects of THC that I don't see how you could reliably test for the effects on driving performance. From my own recollections of driving while high, the effect seemed to be that it helped me to concentrate on driving....as long as that was all I was doing.

Where weed does not help is in multitasking, and now cars are so full of interesting and distracting gadgets, it may make the effect worse than it used to be.

OTOH, those gadgets distract sober people too. So...it's complicated.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby rabble » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:30 pm

penquin wrote:A urine test will detect usage anywhere from 3 to 30 days, depending on how heavy of a toker they are. Hair follicle testing can find most substances that were used in the past 90 days. A blood test will detect use anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.

Are you saying those tests will determine when a person got high, or only that it happened sometime within that window?
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby penquin » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:58 pm

rabble wrote:Are you saying those tests will determine when a person got high, or only that it happened sometime within that window?


I don't think any test will tell an actual time/date when hong bits were last inhaled. When I say "3 to 30 days" for a urine test, I mean that someone whose only intake was a one-hitter last week would probably pass a test today but the guy who waked&baked every morning up until 20 days ago would probably pee dirty.
penquin
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby wack wack » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:39 am

david cohen wrote:either way I think driving baked is just as dangerous as driving drunk so I won't take much solace in any statistics.


Ummm... no. For those who believe this, I'd guess you've never done either.

Seriously, driving drunk and driving high on marijuana are not even in the same country, let alone same ballpark or page.
wack wack
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3141
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:32 pm

Re: Marijuana and driving.

Postby david cohen » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:45 pm

Ummm...I'm going to exercise my 5th amendment rights there, wack. Earrrrrrrrrrrr, you take the wheel!
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Next

Return to Catch All

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

cron
Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar