Driving While Stoned
While driving North in the middle lane on Jamboree, a six-lane road in Orange County, California, I noticed a blue Honda in the slow lane with smoke clouds billowing from the driver’s window. Thinking that was a lot of smoke for a cigarette, I passed the car and glanced inside.
I noticed the mid-twenties driver and his male passenger, who looked clean-cut in tees and jeans with short haircuts, sharing a cigar-shaped joint.
Not wanting to be anywhere near a driver who’s high (or drunk), I moved into the fast lane and sped up.
If you’ve read my blogs, you’re aware that I’m for legalizing drugs and have written extensively on marijuana. For the record, I don’t like drugs (or alcohol) and I don’t use recreational drugs (or drink). So, why do I support legalizing drugs?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained it succinctly when he tweeted on the Canadian Senate passing a bill on June 19, 2018, to make pot legal in Canada: “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits…Our plan is to legalize and regulate marijuana…”
I agree with the prime minister. When drugs are illegal, dealers sell to whomever buys, including kids.
Legalization brings challenges.
Unlike alcohol, California does not have established criteria for determining what constitutes driving while high. A lack of data has hindered efforts to establish a measurable state standard for drug-impaired driving.
An article in the Los Angeles Times on August 29, 2018, said that California State Controller Betty Yee was knocked unconscious in a car accident caused by a driver impaired by pot and is backing a bill approved by the Legislature. The measure would require the California Highway Patrol to report on how many motorists stopped for impaired driving are allegedly under the influence of marijuana. (Colorado and Washington are collecting this information.)
When reporting statistics, California law enforcement does not distinguish between drugged driving and driving-under-the-influence arrests involving alcohol. Officers rely on visual evidence of impairment, such as cars weaving and drifting between lanes.
Now they have another: plumes of smoke billowing out of the car’s windows.
What about you? Have you encountered a drugged-driver?
Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you like suspense novels, please consider reading my debut novel, Busted, which shows both sides of the drug debate. To buy, click on Amazon. If you’ve read it and liked it, please recommend it to a friend.