the geezerette is still peddling the reefer madness fear based garbage to the old farts around here. the movie is played for its comic relief these days... except for the scared old farts around here... they still believe it is based in fact.
best quote from this thread sums it up:
"The first full year after coming into effect, [medical marijuana] legalization is associated with an 8 to 11 percent reduction in the (vehicle related) fatality rate."
If you can't fault the message, go after the messenger. Oldest and nastiest tactic in political rhetoric. But while you're at it, it seems the "Independant" isn't all that independant after all. How much of your sponsorship comes from Colorado's new marijuana merchants? Opinions sponsored by the latest addiction-for-profit enterprises and intended to promote their product don't impress. There simply is no "Independant" credibility on this matter. The Gazette may just be queuing up for its next Pulitzer Prize with this deeply researched and data rich investigative series. So greatful someone had the courage to publish this work even before it became fashionable to do so. The Gazette series will make history. The rest of the nation is reading the real deal now. We like this break from the steady stream the pro pot propaganda which has heretofore saturated media messaging.
wonderful column, John. As a fellow little three contemporary (but not a Psi U guy) I'm thinking maybe you and I should be youtubed singing that song--if Will Ferrell would join us I'm sure it would go viral and we would go up in flames.
"At the time, I was from a drug and alcohol testing company in town"
No further questions, Your Honor.
Unreal, what a dirty nasty affair, yellow journalism is alive and well. I guess when you own the paper like Mr Anschutz, you can pay to have written whatever you wish. Whats sad is it is so poorly done, so obvious the fix is in. Slanted Editorial board sell out flunkies as facts and news. Then they pay a non Gazette reporter to write it up, in such a obviously slanted manner. The Gazette and its reporters did fantastic reporting on marijuana, very fair and balanced as they like to say. Then Anschutz bought it and that kind of reporting was over. Then you get the yellow journalism. I have subscribed to the Gazette for years, as their reporters DO good work, but that has all changed. Mrs Tatum is NOT a Gazette reporter, she was brought in for this hit piece. I can no longer stomach helping to pay the salaries of these people, to propagandize me. I will be telling the Gazette to end our relationship, and it hurts me to do so. I strongly support journalism but the Gazette isn't doing much of that with pieces like this.
A. Jo, no one... no one of any merit says that young people should ingest cannabis unless they have a strong medical need that is supervised by doctors. So anyone that you think that denies the effects of Cannabis on developing brains is not worth listening to, and doesn't represent the sane side of the issue.
B. Want to discuss an agenda? You just said yourself you were representing a drug testing company. No, no vested interests there at all.
Jo, I was there during that conversation. It was awkward because you were asking us to reach out to others and vouch for you, when we had never met you before. Convincing people to talk about their (at-that-time illegal) drug use with a stranger from a drug-and-alcohol testing company didn't seem like the wisest idea. Sorry it didn't work out as you had hoped.
Testing for substances was mandatory for all crash drivers and was done 24/7. Controls had a 96.7% participation rate. Even if some controls declined participation because they were high, this would only strengthen the relative risk of DUI of cannabis, so the actual risk ratio could be less than what was reported in the study.
Driving impaired on cannabis is stupid and will remain illegal. Though lets put this into perspective and set limits appropriately. It is foolish for law enforcement to give so much attention to cannabis and driving while the elephant in the room, alcohol (especially when mixed with drugs like Xanax), causes far, far more harm on the roads.
Some studies have found drivers under the influence of cannabis to be no more culpable in crashes than drug-free drivers [Romano et al. 2014; Movig et al. 2004; Chesher & Longo. 2002; Longo et al. 2000], some have found cannabis users to be LESS culpable [Terhune. 1992]. However:
•An NIDA (who may have a bias against cannabis) government review of studies found that drivers had a two times greater risk of being in an accident after smoking cannabis (fatal and non-fatal). [Hartman and Huestis. 2013]
•Having two or more passengers also increases crash risk by two. [McEvoy et al. 2007]
•Speeding by 6 mph increases crash risk by FOUR times. [Kloeden et al. 1997]
•Cell phone use increases crash risk by FOUR times (fatal and non-fatal). [McEvoy et al. 2005; Redelmeier & Tibshirani. 1997; McEvoy et al. 2007]
•Texting increases crash risk by EIGHT to TWENTY-THREE times (fatal and non-fatal). [Drews et al. 2009; Olson et al. 2009]
•Tobacco smokers have a 1.5 times increase in risk for accidents over non-smokers (fatal and non-fatal). [Brison. 1990]
•Drivers with a LEGAL BAC of between 0.05% and 0.07% have a FOUR to TEN times greater risk of being in a FATAL accident. [Zador et al. 2000]
•Drivers impaired on alcohol at 0.09% BAC have more than an ELEVEN times greater risk of being in a FATAL single vehicle accident. [Zador. 1991]
•Drivers impaired on alcohol between 0.10 and 0.14% BAC have a FORTY-EIGHT times greater risk of being in a FATAL single vehicle accident. [Zador. 1991]
Driving under the influence of alcohol increases crash risk much more than cannabis:
"Although driving under the influence of marijuana can adversely affect psychomotor performance, the effect is much greater for those driving under the influence of alcohol."
Pacula et al. Developing public health regulations for marijuana: lessons from alcohol and tobacco. Am J Public Health. 2014.
Why is driving under the influence of alcohol so much more dangerous than driving under the influence of cannabis? It is most likely because of the very different behavioral effects of the two drugs. Where cannabis tends to make its users more cautious and aware of their impairment, alcohol tends to do the opposite, making people overconfident, aggressive, and wreckless. Here are two studies that allude to this:
"Alcohol impaired performance relative to placebo but subjects did not perceive it. THC did not impair driving performance yet the subjects thought it had."
Robbe and O'Hanlon. DOT HS 808 078. Marijuana and actual driving performance. U.S. Department of Transportation - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 1993.
Even very high levels of cannabis use do not impair more than alcohol at just 0.08% BAC:
"THC's effects on road-tracking after doses up to 300 µg/kg never exceeded alcohol's at bacs of 0.08%; and, were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs"
"Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the formers users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence."
H. Robbe. Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance. HHMRC Road Research Unit, University of Adelaide. 1995.
It is plausible that greater cannabis use could lead to less carnage on the road. States that legalized medical cannabis actually saw an overall drop in vehicle related fatalities. They also saw a decrease in alcohol consumption:
"The first full year after coming into effect, [medical marijuana] legalization is associated with an 8 to 11 percent reduction in the fatality rate."
"We find that the legalization of medical marijuana is associated with reduced alcohol consumption, especially among young adults."
Anderson et al. Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption. Journal of Law and Economics. 2013
This study found no increase in road trauma in cannabis users. It did find benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, etc) and legal levels of alcohol (0.50-0.79 BAC) increase odds of injury by about 5 times:
"No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis. The study concludes that drug use, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines and multiple drug use and drug-alcohol combinations, among vehicle drivers increases the risk for a road trauma accident requiring hospitalisation"
Movig et al. Psychoactive substance use and the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2004.
An extensive 2013 review of 66 studies regarding crash risk and drug use found that cannabis was associated with minor, but not statistically significant increased odds of injury or fatal accident:
The estimated fatal crash odds for cannabis, 1.26, were lower than:
1.68 - Opiates
2.30 - Antianxiety meds
2.60 - Zopiclone (sleep medicine)
2.96 - Cocaine
5.17 - Amphetamines
The estimated injury odds for cannabis, 1.10, were lower than:
1.12 - Antihistamines
1.12 - Penicillin
1.17 - Antianxiety meds
1.35 - Antidepressants
1.31 - Antiasthmatics
1.42 - Zopiclone (sleep medicine)
1.66 - Cocaine
1.91 - Opiates
The study concluded: "By and large, the increase in the risk of accident involvement associated with the use of drugs must be regarded as modest. ... Compared to the huge increase in accident risk associated with alcohol, as well as the high accident rate among young drivers, the increases in risk associated with the use of drugs are surprisingly small."
Elvik R. Risk of road accident associated with the use of drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of evidence from epidemiological studies. Accident Analysis Prevention. 2013. Review.
Again, the case controlled study I mentioned [Compton and Berning. 2015] is the most authoritative on the subject yet, and it did not find increased crash risk from typical levels of cannabis use once adjusted for important confounders .
Regardless, increased risk of crash while DUI of a substance is not a valid reason to criminalize all adults for using said substance when not driving. Though it turns out the increased crash risk from typical levels DUI of cannabis is small, no more than that of having two or more passengers in the vehicle, possibly much less.
1. Brison RJ. Risk of automobile accidents in cigarette smokers. Can J Public Health. 1990.
2. Hartman RL, Huestis MA. Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clin Chem. 2013. Review.
3. McEvoy et al. Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study. Br Med J. 2005.
4. Redelmeier DA, Tibshirani RJ. Association between cellular-telephone calls and motor vehicle collisions. N Engl J Med. 1997.
5. Drews et al. Text messaging during simulated driving. Hum Factors. 2009.
6. Olson et al. Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Center for Truck and Bus Safety. 2009.
7. Zador et al. Relative Risk of Fatal and Crash Involvement by BAC, Age and Gender. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. April 2000.
8. Zador PL. Alcohol-related relative risk of fatal driver injuries in relation to driver age and 5ex. J Stud Alcohol. 1991.
9. McEvoy et al. The contribution of passengers versus mobile phone use to motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance by the driver. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2007.
10. Kloeden et al. Travelling speed and the risk of crash involvement. NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit. 1997.
11. Romano et al. Drugs and alcohol: their relative crash risk. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2014.
12. Movig et al. Psychoactive substance use and the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2004.
13. Chesher and Longo. Cannabis and alcohol in motor vehicle accidents. In: F. Grotenhermen and E. Russo (Eds.) Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. New York: Haworth Press. 2002. Pp. 313-323.
14. Longo et al. The prevalence of alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and stimulants amongst injured drivers and their role in driver culpability: part ii: the relationship between drug prevalence and drug concentration, and driver culpability. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2000.
15. Terhune et al. 1992. The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Report No. DOT HS 808 065.
It would seem possible to hold differing views on a subject without the snarky, rude comments and acting as a bunch of assholes and assholettes - Cspgs is becoming more of a proctologist's dream than a reasonable city filled with people one would want to move to and associate with which may be why so many are not.
Anyone who can read can detect the slant the Gazette has taken on certain topics. It is a shame that they call themselves a news organization when they are now really nothing but a propaganda machine. Of course is this really any different from the major television news networks?
Good one, Bryce. You like to be selective. Just as in your journalism. At the time, I was from a drug and alcohol testing company in town and we were explicitly asking if there was any way to find young people who would be willing to talk about their experience for the PURPOSE of opening a conversation about impact to youth and the brain science. If it was awkward for you ... that says a LOT. Just didn't meet your pro-marijuana criteria. That's o.k. At least we had the guts to ask. I'm sure you got a laugh over it later. Good for you!
Let's start with the way news is supposed to work. The Society of Professional Journalists says reporters should "avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts."
So, I checked your bio here: "Bryce Crawford is a Colorado Springs native, as well as a reporter, restaurant critic and features writer. He joined the Indy in 2009, and has since won acclaim from the Society of Professional Journalists for arts and entertainment criticism."
I don't see "pot head." Could you update that please because it would put your, ah-hem, criticism of the series in better perspective.
Unfortunately, that's bullshit Jo. I'm not even sure what you're remembering. Having never met you and having no idea who you were, you requested a random meeting with us to ask if we knew any teenagers who smoked pot. We did not. This led to a very awkward 20 minutes, and no result. Shame on those who make crap up.
The Independent can talk about how unfair the Gazette perspective piece is ... but I sat in a room in their offices two years ago and asked them to run a piece on the dangers of marijuana to the adolescent brain and they refused. Fair and balanced? I don't think so. You just don't like hearing the other side. What happened to respecting the fact that there are a whole LOT of people who see things differently and have good reason for it. Like parents of addicts and employers. Shame on those who want to shut up differing opinions.
Ed Wood demands of Herb Reese, "Read the report!" Actually, Mr. Reese cites two different reports, one dated 1993 and the other 1995, and provides quotations from the material. Mr. Wood, on the other hand, provides no sources or quotations to back up his many opinions and does not even bother to say which of the two reports he is criticizing.
Just more evidence that Laugesen and the editorial staff there are not the libertarians they claim to be but staunch reichwingnuts. The conflicts of interest are legendary and hidden all the time, like his wife Dede working for House (and now against Collins) on behalf of Anschutz's interests. Tatum is just a shill for Big Pharma trying to compete unfairly with herbal medicine they don't control.
A driver drove his vehicle through the side of a house in Pueblo and killed a child. He was clearly impaired by alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol.
I had always thought Mark Twain made that comment, but it turns out he said something very similar and probably cribbed it from Samuel Johnson. He did, however, say something even more pointed: "A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot..."
Herb, it is not true that NHTSA found that cannabis use doesn't increase crash risk. Read the report! Failure to find a link is not the same as finding there is no link, especially with a study that was not designed to find a link in the first place. This was a study of volunteers - comparing controls with those who were in crashes and also volunteered to be part of the study. What? You expected stoned drivers to volunteer? The test cases included both drivers responsible for crashes as well as innocent victims who you would expect to be no different from controls. Why design a study that dilutes the test signal? Controls were tested immediately, and test cases were tested after a delay, allowing THC to metabolize and sequester. So victims would be expected to have a lower THC level than controls, further diluting the signal. The assay was not designed to differentiate between recent and historical use, which is why 100% of the cases testing positive for carboxy THC also tested positive for THC, a very unusual situation. This calls into question everything about the study! Virginia City, as a military town, has a lower drug use than the norm - check NHTSA's published figures. So any results, even if they had been meaningful, wouldn't apply to pot-laced locales like Colorado. If you're going to pick a study to champion, pick a good one.
If the Independent holds forth the L A Times as a model of journalistic integrity, then the Crawford piece is not surprising. Why are readers afraid of the facts?
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