If Pot Ran for President

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Half of America now supports legalizing pot. That number exceeds the approval ratings of President Obama, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and every GOP candidate running for president.

Legalization is also at the top of the White House’s “We the People” petition site, and it isn’t even close. Next time Obama laughs off the question—and he will—I’d love to hear a White House reporter ask him if he’s aware that a higher percentage of Americans now support legalizing marijuana than think he’s doing a good job as president.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

64 Responses to “If Pot Ran for President”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    Well gee, he can’t very well disobey his shadow masters, can he? But don’t worry! The next president will also be rabidly pro-prohibition too, regardless of what he (or she) says prior to the election.

  2. #2 |  el toro | 

    So why is this still such a taboo subject for national political discourse? From the survey results, it looks like our politicians are pandering to older southern conservatives.

  3. #3 |  damaged justice | 

    Not enough of the old southern rebels are kicking those conservative asses back up to Yankeeland where they belong.

  4. #4 |  Greg | 

    If you don’t mind a shameless plug, there’s a petition that closes on October 27, 2011 for the Obama Administration to recognize electronic cigarettes as as an effective alternative to smoking and as a job creator.

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/recognize-electronic-cigarettes-effective-alternative-smoking-and-support-job-creation-new-industry/57vtB0QK?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    Only about 200 signatures left until this baby hits 5,000.

    Of course, I don’t hold out much hope for the Obama Administration to do anything but send a letter saying, “The FDA is concerned that e-cigarettes may appeal to youth, blah, blah blah, blah.”

  5. #5 |  Aresen | 

    @ el toro | October 18th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    It’s one of those issues where those in favor don’t care enough to swing their votes on the issue while those opposed would change their votes.

    So the politicians see it as having a lot more to lose than they would gain by supporting legalization.

  6. #6 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    I think the number is closer to 60%. The difference is made up by those too high or too paranoid to respond…

  7. #7 |  Sinchy | 

    Here in NYC 100% of people I know support legalizing it.

  8. #8 |  Mark | 

    What a stupid comparison. Do you really think it matters that more people support legalizing pot than think Obama is doing a good job? And if so, lets not do anything about the death penalty, because 2/3 of people support it.

    You’re smarter and better than this tripe. There are real issues at play here, and you do a great job of covering them, but why dilute your reporting with crap comparisons like this?

  9. #9 |  Steamed McQueen | 

    And next year even more will be in favor of legalization. Will it ever happen?

    Not as long as there are large group of people making a very comfortable living from the way things are now.

  10. #10 |  Kristen | 

    The people that actually vote in large numbers (soccer moms & dads and old farts) are prohibitionists to the core. For teh childrunz!!

  11. #11 |  pam | 

    What I’ve noticed is people either support it, don’t really care or they’re a DARE officer. The old “it-turns-your-brain-into scrambled-eggs” crowd seem to have died off or have Alzheimer’s.

    With the over 50% who support legalization plus the millions upon millions who know someone railroaded into prison for a non-violent drug offense, I’d say that’s a pretty large constituency. Someone should go for it.

  12. #12 |  MassHole | 

    Kristen at #10 is right. I know quite a few people that will straight up say that having kids made them conservative and pro drug war. These are people that will tell you about the great times they had in college smoking weed. I always explain that if my daughter makes a mistake, the last people I want involved are the cops. For some reason they don’t get it that had they been caught, they would have been fucked and probably never hired by Goldman or Swiss Bank. I’ve really just given up and realize that most people, regardless of intelligence, just can’t or care to think these things through in a logical manner.

  13. #13 |  Marty | 

    maybe obama should start a new liberty garden and raise his approval ratings.

  14. #14 |  Chris | 

    +1 Mark @#8. Terribly biased comparison.

    Turn it around…. Half of America now does *not* support legalizing pot. That number exceeds the approval ratings of President Obama, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and every GOP candidate running for president.

  15. #15 |  peter principle | 

    Obama is simply pandering to the police unions.criminalization of marijuana is the full employment act for law enforcement, legalize it and there will be layoffs.

    In california the two main groups who opposed legalization were law enforcement and the illegal growers of mendicino: both correctly saw legalization as a threat to their economic well being

  16. #16 |  DarkEFang | 

    “The people that actually vote in large numbers (soccer moms & dads and old farts) are prohibitionists to the core. For teh childrunz!!”

    This is exactly why politicians won’t touch legalization. You simply cannot reason with helicoptor parents or old people.

  17. #17 |  Rob Lyman | 

    The problem is that most of that support is apathetic. Take me, for instance. I don’t see why pot is illegal and alcohol is legal. But on the other hand, I think recreational drug use (including drunkenness) is stupid, so I don’t really care all that much. I’m certainly not willing to sacrifice on issues I consider important (free speech, guns) for pot, and I don’t stay awake at night worried about the stoners who get busted for an offense they could have easily chosen not to commit.

    I suspect a goodly part of that 50% is “soft” support, whereas much of the 50% supporting prohibition is “hard” support.

  18. #18 |  JimBob | 

    > What a stupid comparison. Do you really think it matters that more people support legalizing pot than think Obama is doing a good job? And if so, lets not do anything about the death penalty, because 2/3 of people support it.

    Does it matter, morally, that pot legalization is more popular than Obama? Hell, no. Popularity is not morality.

    But popular sentiment DOES drive politics. As a practical matter, the President takes note of what has a lot of public support, and even (occasionally) acts on it. So, from the standpoint of possibly seeing a change in drug policy, this may be good news.

  19. #19 |  Dante | 

    Legalization Bottom Line:

    They could take a poll which showed that 90% of the American public wanted cannabis legal – it wouldn’t matter one bit.

    The Drug Warriors with the ultimate authority to end prohibition in the future are the exact same people who, today, make their lavish living because of prohibition. They, and the drug traffickers, are the only two groups of people who benefit in any way from the war on drugs.

    Drug warriors will never derail their own gravy train. They simply won’t.

    Someone is going to have to do it by force. It’s the only law they understand.

  20. #20 |  Radley Balko | 

    What a stupid comparison.

    Really? Obama and most politicians laugh off questions about legalization as nothing more than an obsessive issue among potheads and fringe libertarians.

    The poll results show that people who support legalization are less on the fringe than people who still approve of Obama. And it’s about four times more popular than Congress.

    You’re smarter and better than this tripe.

    Apparently not!

    There are real issues at play here, and you do a great job of covering them, but why dilute your reporting with crap comparisons like this?

    About half the issues I write about are a direct result of bad drug policy — policy that, in fact, isn’t nearly as popular as politicians make it seem. I think it’s worth pointing out that not only are the politicians wrong, they’re also out of touch with public opinion. And these questions deserve a more serious answer than laughing them off.

  21. #21 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    President Durkin would immediately legalize pot…not because a slight majority favors it. But because it is the right thing to do.

    Insert catch-phrase. Vote Durkin.

  22. #22 |  Randy | 

    I’m certainly not willing to sacrifice on issues I consider important (free speech, guns) for pot, and I don’t stay awake at night worried about the stoners who get busted for an offense they could have easily chosen not to commit.

    Sadly, this attitude is all too common among the citizenry. My rights I care about, yours, not so much. I’m not picking on the poster here, just pointing our what is true not only on this issue, but on others as well. Sadly, when we take others’ rights for granted, others’ might take ours for granted as well.

    With that said, gun owners need to understand that the WOD and gun control are related issues. The WOD leads to a profitable black market that engenders violence due to its existence outside the law. That increased violence raises the clarion call in some quarters to restrict gun rights. Ending the WOD would lead to less violence which would, in turn, reduce the clamor for gun control.

    Fortunately, some gun owners are beginning to realize this and take action. Over at HuffPo, the President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, Inc., Richard Feldman, penned a piece entitled: Gun Rights and Marijuana Reform – Issues Joined!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-feldman/gun-rights-marijuana-refo_b_1014802.html?ref=tw

    Sorry, no hyperlink as my html skills have deteriorated.

  23. #23 |  MH | 

    Excellent post Randy, and your link had another link to a story Rob’s comment had made me recall:

    “U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy of Southern California has said that she is ready to go after newspapers, radio stations and other outlets that run ads for medical marijuana shops because federal law targets those who place ads for an illegal substance”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/14/IN621LH11D.DTL#ixzz1b9rh84SP

    The idea that you can be indifferent to the drug war because you don’t use drugs yourself strikes me as quite naive. Fundamentally, drug prohibition is incompatible with a free society, and therefore freedom must be constantly under attack in order to prosecute a war on drugs. This has effects that reach far beyond the simple arrest of pot users. Speech rights, gun rights, property rights — all must be repressed in order to further the goals of prohibition.

  24. #24 |  Rob Lyman | 

    The right to buy ads soliciting criminal activity–even where that activity arguably shouldn’t be criminalized–is considerably less important, free-speech-wise, than the right to buy ads criticizing a politician in the days right before the election.

    In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to choose, but as between a far-left pot-legalizing campaign finance regulator, and a hard-right law-and-order prohibitionist who opposes McCain-Feingold and similar laws, I’m going to pick the latter and I’m not going to apologize for it.

  25. #25 |  David | 

    It’s important to remember that pot legalization is not about whether or not people will smoke marijuana. They will. You can’t stop it, the federal government can’t stop it, the fucking Pope, Dalai Lama and Steve Jobs combined wouldn’t be able to stop it. Pot legalization is about whether or not people get arrested, have their homes invaded, spend years in prison or just get shot in the head because the government suspects that they own or have owned that particular plant. I don’t particularly care whether or not people get high. I DO care if their lives are destroyed or ended because they got high.

  26. #26 |  Curt | 

    I’m all for legalizing… I just have one practical concern. I don’t want people driving or working (at certain jobs) while stoned. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a way to quantitatively prove that someone is stoned. Tests for pot just show whether someone has been stoned in the last month or so.

    I’ve got no issues with someone driving a car or operating a bulldozer on Monday morning after they smoked up on Friday night… same as with alcohol. But if they’re drunk on Monday morning, we can quantitatively test for that. Is there a way to prove someone is stoned when they show up for work?

  27. #27 |  MH | 

    Just put a bowel of Cap’n Crunch out and insist that nobody eat it. If your employee can’t help himself, you know what’s up.

  28. #28 |  Juice | 

    I’d rather not eat cereal from a bowel, thanks.

  29. #29 |  David | 

    If they’re eating bowels I’d be more concerned about PCP.

  30. #30 |  MH | 

    @24 No one here insisted that you vote for far left candidates; how you vote is up to you. The issue is whether drug prohibition can realistically be carried out without affecting rights of people who don’t use drugs, which I think is doubtful.

  31. #31 |  Brandon | 

    Curt, that’s not really a practical concern, it’s more of a phobia. I drive stoned all the time, many of my friends drive stoned regularly, and I recently passed a driving test while stoned. I’m not saying that everyone should do it, but I am saying that wanting a test for current or very recent pot use is the same trap that has driven our idiotic DUI laws for the past 20 years. Focus on actual impairment, even if it galls you that someone, somewhere might be driving while smoking marijuana without you being able to tell. And here’s a hint: If you need a drug test to determine if someone is too impaired to drive, they aren’t. If you can’t tell through observation that someone is impaired, but you punish them for being “probably impaired according to this test,” you do not have the moral high ground.

  32. #32 |  zendingo | 

    brandon,

    why do you hate the children? it’s for the children

  33. #33 |  Rob Lyman | 

    Focus on actual impairment

    This is one of those interesting things I see from libertarians sometimes that makes me wonder if they mean what they say.

    A measurement of actual impairment is not going to be easy to carry out. Should the cops tow a driving simulator around and make you take reaction-time tests on the roadside? Failing that, is everyone here comfortable with convictions for drunk driving based solely on officer testimony that “he was weaving all over the place”? I can live with a citation for “failure to maintain lane position,” but jail time for that?

    A sharp BAC cutoff will lead to injustice in some cases (someone who isn’t really all that impaired is jailed, someone who is just a very bad driver but with no alcohol isn’t). In that respect, it’s similar to statutory rape laws that set an arbitrary age limit that has nothing to do with emotional maturity. But on the other hand, a sharp rule is easy to follow for both cops and citizens. If you go to something fuzzy like “impairment” (or, for sex, “maturity”) then you have a different kind of injustice: nobody can really tell what the law actually means, and you have a subjective standard which is subject to both deliberate abuse and well-meaning overzealousness.

    A nice, sharp line drawn by rule (.08 or age 18) is easy to obey. It tells everyone what they need to do and what will happen if they don’t. It can’t be easily gamed by cops, prosecutors, or defense attorneys. It leads to some results that are suboptimal, but it gives fair notice to all, as criminal laws should. In that respect, it is better for liberty.

  34. #34 |  James J.B. | 

    If pot ran for president,…

    I guess “weed” all be in trouble!

    Thanks. I’ll be here all week.

  35. #35 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    A measurement of actual impairment is not going to be easy to carry out.

    What decade are you living in? “tow a driving simulator around”? You could test reaction time with an iphone, and you’d also get the person who hasn’t slept in 48 hours, who is a bigger concern for me than some guy who had two beers.

    Failing that, is everyone here comfortable with convictions for drunk driving based solely on officer testimony

    (emphasis mine)

    Cameras.

    A nice, sharp line drawn by rule (.08 or age 18) is easy to obey. It tells everyone what they need to do and what will happen if they don’t. It can’t be easily gamed by cops, prosecutors, or defense attorneys.

    To refute this, I had to go through the archives, all the way to five days ago.

  36. #36 |  ALgerHiss | 

    Think for a minute how devastating…what a huge change it would be to your local LEOs morning shift meeting if “dope” was not covered by the shift commander. Good grief, what in the world would these people discuss if reefer wasn’t used to lather them all up….get them excited for those 25 traffic stops they’d be making that day.

    How many SWAT raids would NOT occur…no…make that how many SWAT teams would not exist…if just reefer was legal?

    How many vehicles would never be seized? How many front doors not destroyed? How many dogs would still be licking their master’s faces?

    How many years of dull, ordinary existence would Cory Maye have experienced?

    Legalizing reefer has nothing to do with smoking pot. Legalizing reefer has everything to do with putting the “civilian” back into “civilian policing”.

    If anyone ever wished to put a velvet boot on the neck of your local cop, simply legalize reefer: Many LEOs will probably seek counseling if they can’t arrest/book someone for possession of reefer.

    And many of them will end up leaving your ass alone, which is the way it should be.

  37. #37 |  Rob Lyman | 

    If you can sell an iPhone based reaction-time test to the courts, then go for it. I’d have a good time with that if I were defending it: “But your honor, my client is arthritic and lacks manual dexterity! That has nothing to do with his ability to perform the gross-motor movements necessary for driving! Plus that touch screen was filthy and didn’t record his presses!”

    And frankly, I think Radley would find reasons for us to think the cops were gaming the system with their new “impairment” tests, too. He might even be right; any machine-based test would have calibration issues just the same as the breath testers.

    I still think a bright line that is easy to follow (65 mph, not “reasonable under the conditions”) is preferable to a fuzzy line that is correct only when we have perfect cops and perfect judges. In principle I agree with you, in practice I don’t.

  38. #38 |  Rob Lyman | 

    I should add that a reaction-time test doesn’t test your judgment, and “being stupid” is at least as big a problem with drunks as having delayed reactions.

  39. #39 |  Brandon | 

    Rob, “being stupid” is in no way exclusive to drunk people. And really, I don’t have a problem with breathalyzers or the equivalent for marijuana, as long as they are only used to corroborate a case instead of being the sole arbiter of whether a person is convicted of a felony. If a cop sees a person swerving, which will be caught on the cop’s camera, he can pull that person over and determine if he was just momentarily distracted, sneezed, etc., or if he is actually impaired in his ability to safely operate a vehicle. To do this, he can use sobriety tests, breathalyzer, whatever. My problem is with random stops, or DUI checkpoints, that make random people go through a breathalyzer test despite there being no evidence of inability to safely operate a vehicle. And a “Bright line that is easy to follow” is how we have arrived at the point of Supreme-Court-Approved detainment and interrogation of completely random people. Freedom is inconveniently fuzzy, sometimes.

  40. #40 |  Rob Lyman | 

    My problem is with random stops, or DUI checkpoints,

    I have a problem with that as well. Conveniently for me, I grew up in and currently live in states where the courts have found those to be unreasonable seizures under the state constitutions.

    I don’t think that has anything to do with the existence (or not) of a bright line, though.

  41. #41 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    Reaction time would be a much more useful metric than BAC in indicating actual impairment. Your fictional “bright line” is not honestly or accurately measured (seriously, the post is still on the front page, you really ought to read it), but even if it were it’s a poor measure of impairment that ignores a lot of dangerous behavior.

  42. #42 |  Rob Lyman | 

    Your fictional “bright line” is not honestly or accurately measured

    That’s actually irrelevant to the question of bright lines vs. fuzzy standards. Any measurement system of any kind can be dishonestly gamed. And frankly, any measurement is going to be imperfect at capturing what we care about (impairment and/or bad judgment) even if made 100% honestly (some drunks may still have decent reaction time, but perhaps impaired equilibrium). But an objective measurement is still less gameable than subjective observations, and it’s much easier for innocent people wishing to avoid arrest to comply with.

  43. #43 |  Ooo deelo | 

    The war on drugs does more for the economy than legalizeing would.
    Prisions…law enforcement..probation..employment pre screening drugs testing, lawyers, banks whom money launder (jpmc)… LLC’s setup to hide logistics… A lot of people would loose their jobs…including the CIA.

  44. #44 |  Brandon | 

    Rob, right now we have exactly a bright, inflexible line, that can only be crossed if a person tests below the limit but the police still say they are intoxicated, and the system is horrible. It destroys innocent lives in the name of….what, exactly, is the advantage of this Bright Line? Convenience for the police? Ease of convictions? Statistic padding? An objective measurement prevents people who have done nothing to harm anyone else from appealing or even contesting their punishment. It’s the same brainless “logic” that has led to zero tolerance schools and all manner of “Tough on Crime” atrocities.

  45. #45 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Ah yes, the old “don’t repeal prohibition because people might drive intoxicated argument” – based upon the fallacy that prohibition is effective at keeping people from getting drugs and driving under their influence in the first place.

    “Weed is everywhere, where was you brought up?”

  46. #46 |  Curt | 

    So, I forgot to follow up last night, but I think others hit on the points I was going for. The point isn’t that prohibition shouldn’t be repealed because people might drive/work under the influence… the point is that this possibility exists. Making legalization acceptable to the general public means addressing that issue. Like some others said, if you have to rely on qualitative testing, that will be torn to shreds in court or abused by police (not that this doesn’t happen with alcohol).

    But… I absolutely agree that the focus needs to be on actual impairment and not some arbitrary number.

  47. #47 |  Balloon Juice » Legalize It | 

    […] New polls that show that marijuana legalization has the support of over half the nation leads Radley Balko to quip: […]

  48. #48 |  Rob Lyman | 

    Brandon, if the complaints against BAC are 1) the test is sometimes incompetently or dishonestly administered, 2) the results are used to convict but not to exonerate, and 3) the test (especially with a rigid number) is imperfectly correlated with what we really care about, then all of those things are true of any conceivable mechanical test. 1) and 2) have nothing to do with the type of test. 3) might be improved by using a different test, but it might not. Reaction time testing might (for example) be passed by a drunk, reckless athlete but failed by a sober but flustered and tearful soccer mom.

    On the other hand, all of those complaints apply with 10 times the force to any non-mechanical subjective “test” or observation (“I thought he was weaving too much”), or to any mechanical test which does not use a bright-line numerical rule but relies instead on police discretion (“His reaction time seemed kind of slow to me given that he’s so young and athletic”). If the line is too fuzzy now, why would we want to make it even fuzzier?

    As it stands, it is trivially easy to avoid a DUI conviction. Don’t drink before you drive, and don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. Then you blow a .00 and they’ll have one heck of a time selling that to a jury.

  49. #49 |  Legalize It | h-info.co.in | 

    […] polls that show that marijuana legalization has the support of over half the nation leads Radley Balko to quip: Legalization is also at the top of the White House’s “We the People” petition site, and it […]

  50. #50 |  Brandon | 

    Rob, it’s not “trivially easy” to avoid a DUI conviction. Even if you haven’t had anything to drink. And even if you avoid a conviction, it will still cost you thousands to fight the charges.

    http://www.theagitator.com/2008/07/05/dwi-arrest-at-00/

    http://www.theagitator.com/2008/04/15/woman-has-half-a-glass-of-wine-02-bac-gets-convicted-of-felony-dui/

    And stop with the “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear” bullshit. Whatever test you rely on, the burden has to be heavily on the state to prove that the driver in question was posing an actual danger to others on the road. It should be difficult for the state to get a conviction for DUI absent actual evidence of impairment, such as film. Otherwise you’re just ruining a whole lot of lives in the name of some facile “better safe than sorry” ideal that doesn’t actually make anyone safer. That’s the point you keep ignoring.

  51. #51 |  William E Kruse, Esq. | 

    @ #33-

    An even more fair and easy to follow rule is one where the only punishment is for actually causing harm while driving impaired. Considering the fairly certain assumption that millions of miles are driven impaired without causing injury, and the consequenses to one’s record are so severe post DUI arrest, shouldn’t there actually be a “harm” before we as a society invoke such harsh punishment?

    On a side note, the book “superfreakenomics” has a great statistical data analysis showing just how low the chances of causing harm while driving intoxicated are in terms of mile driven drunk. The authors also come to the conclusion that you are safer driving home drunk than walking home drunk vased on analysis of injuries and deaths per mile driven drunk vice walking drunk. Very interesting.

  52. #52 |  Scott Morgan: Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon | PUII - News Blog | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  53. #53 |  Medical Tips » Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon » Medical Tips | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  54. #54 |  Scott Morgan: Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon | 

    […] reached a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama's re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot's more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama's heavily […]

  55. #55 |  Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon - Grasscity.com Forums | 

    […] reached a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama's re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot's more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama's heavily […]

  56. #56 |  Scott Morgan: Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon « CrimeAlertBlog.Com | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  57. #57 |  Pot Help » Blog Archive Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon » Pot Help | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, althoughThis content was sourced from a content feed of relevant articles. More […]

  58. #58 |  civil disobedience | 

    mother nature (marijuana) is always legal, as it always has been and always will be. don’t let stupid man-made laws distract you.

  59. #59 |  Let Our Farmers Grow (Pot Laws) « Women Born Transsexual | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  60. #60 |  Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon | growskunk.com | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a […]

  61. #61 |  markm | 

    “#26 | Curt | October 18th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I’m all for legalizing… I just have one practical concern. I don’t want people driving or working (at certain jobs) while stoned. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a way to quantitatively prove that someone is stoned. Tests for pot just show whether someone has been stoned in the last month or so.”

    Anyone with a degree in organic chemistry could create a quantitative test for THC in a blood sample in under a week. (AFAIK, it would have to be a blood sample, but they take those for alcohol often enough.) The only reason we don’t have such a test pre-packaged and in common use is that it’s not what the people who order the tests want – a test for THC intoxication now would catch far fewer people than the tests for metabolic residues that linger for weeks.

    As for tests for impairment, there are two problems. One is that it’s not easy to test for. The bigger problem is that a law against driving while “impaired” according to any test is going to be a law against driving home from an overly long work shift. That won’t fly politically – especially once it becomes known that senior cops, who frequently stack up huge amounts of overtime in their last years on the force because it bumps up their pensions, would often fail the test.

  62. #62 |  Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  63. #63 |  Obama Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana, and Soon | NEIL ROCKIND, P.C. | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

  64. #64 |  The President Must Explain His Broken Promise on Medical Marijuana | Truth Is Scary | 

    […] a record high of 50% ought to bother Obama’s re-election team a little bit. No, not because pot’s more popular than the president, although that really says a lot. The problem, rather, is that Obama’s […]

Leave a Reply