Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cannabis and the Kool-Aid Cop

Hopefully I'm back in the saddle as of old, I have been rather preoccupied with my mother after she suffered a fall recently. Glad to say though, she is much recovered.

When I read this story, I thought, hmm, this sounds familiar, but rather than the subject matter being pot, the items in question in this particular instance were vibrators.

After you have read the doomsday scenario, courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department’s Robert McMahon, and then watched the clip, not Reefer Madness, but rather, Marijuana Will Get You, which probably says the same in three minutes as the original movie said in ninety, you can read below what Republican Representative Ralph Davenport of South Carolina, had to say about vibrators. And no, I'm not making it up.

Reefer Madness: CA Cop Worries Legalizing Pot Will Make Window Washers Fall From High-Rises -- And Kill Passersby
By Kristen Gwynne
November 22, 2011

Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department’s Robert McMahon has been drinking the Kool-Aid, and he is very worried about how decriminalized pot may affect California's future. His vision is straight out of a 1930s pot propaganda film.

“What will happen to our kids if this stuff is legal? Think about 20 years from now what L.A. will look like?” he asks

McMahon is of the following opinion:

“We’re talking about loss of work and collisions, work-related industrial injuries. Somebody comes to work stoned, and they are working some heavy equipment or up on a high-rise — a window washer that’s stoned — not only could he [or she] injure himself, but some of his or her negligence could cause someone else to be injured.” (emphasis added)

Of course, marijuana is not nearly as impairing or dangerous as alcohol. And legalizing marijuana does not necessarily mean more people will smoke it, or that more window washers will smoke it, or that more window washers will smoke it before work and then fall from a giant high-rise only to land on a mother pushing her infant in a stroller. Okay, so I added that last part.

But when I imagine a California where marijuana is legal, I don't see any of this at all. Instead, I imagine 1,401 fewer people in California jails. I imagine a more racially just society because California’s African-American population faces 10 times greater odds of being imprisoned for marijuana than other racial/ethnic groups. If marijuana were legal nationally, I would go so far as to imagine a Mexico with less inter-cartel violence and fewer drug-related deaths. I imagine adults smoking marijuana in the comfort of their own homes, or on the street, without facing ramifications that may ruin their lives in ways that pot alone never could have. I imagine kids with futures not defined by the fact that they were caught smoking weed, locked-up, and trapped by criminal records that hammer away at educational and employment opportunities. I imagine more possibilities, more justice -- not the marijuana-induced mayhem that McMahon and fellow prohibitionists can only dream of, because weed is not the demon they believe it to be. AlterNet

Republican Representative Ralph Davenport of South Carolina on the subject of vibrators.

He said some constituents had asked him to introduce the bill, and he hoped that if someone is caught kidnapping someone and using these devices on an unwilling victim, that this would be another offense with which they could be charged.
Whoa boy,whoa whoa whoa, say that again.
if someone is caught kidnapping someone and using these devices on an unwilling victim,
Full story: It's A Funny Old World


Jolly Green Giant said...

Piece of Government Research That Got Away Dept.

UK: Cannabis May Make You A Safer Driver
by Jonathon Carr-Brown, (13 Aug 2000)
Times United Kingdom

TAKING the high road may not be so dangerous after all. Ministers are set to be embarrassed by government-funded research which shows that driving under the influence of drugs makes motorists more cautious and has a limited impact on their risk of crashing.

In the study, conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, grade A cannabis specially imported from America was given to 15 regular users. The doped-up drivers were then put through four weeks of tests on driving simulators to gauge reaction times and awareness.

Regular smokers were used because previous tests in America using first-timers resulted in the volunteers falling over and feeling ill. The laboratory found its guinea pigs through what it described as a "snowballing technique" - one known user was asked to find another after being promised anonymity and exemption from prosecution agreed with the Home Office.

Instead of proving that drug-taking while driving increased the risk of accidents, researchers found that the mellowing effects of cannabis made drivers more cautious and so less likely to drive dangerously.

Although the cannabis affected reaction time in regular users, its effects appear to be substantially less dangerous than fatigue or drinking. Research by the Australian Drugs Foundation found that cannabis was the only drug tested that decreased the relative risk of having an accident.

The findings will embarrass ministers at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions ( DETR ) who commissioned the study after pressure from motoring organisations and anti-drug campaigners. Lord Whitty, the transport minister, will receive the report later this month.

Last week police revealed details of new drug-driving tests to be administered by the roadside, which were received with some amusement. They require suspected drug-drivers to stand on one leg, lean back and touch their nose with their eyes closed, and to count to 30 silently with their eyes shut. This is apparently difficult for those on a drug trip.

The advertising company McCann-Erickson has already prepared a television campaign using Pulp's song Sorted for Es and Whizz, the slogan "Never drive on drugs" and the pay-off line "then you come down".

However, if the findings are less than frightening on the effects of marijuana, they may convince ministers to put more money into raising driver awareness of fatigue. Tiredness is now blamed for causing 10% of all fatal accidents, compared with 6% for alcohol and 3% for drugs.

A low-key radio campaign will be launched tomorrow warning drivers to take breaks.

The report's surprising conclusions will not sway organisations such as the RAC, which believes there is incontrovertible evidence that drug-driving is a growing menace. DETR statistics published in January showed a six-fold increase in the number of people found to be driving with drugs in their system after fatal road accidents. The figure jumped from 3% in 1989 to 18%.

Dr Rob Tunbridge, the report's author, refused to reveal his findings before they were published but said: "If you were to ask me to rank them in order of priority, fatigue is the worst killer, followed by alcohol, and drugs follow way behind in third."

Tunbridge admitted that the effect of drugs differed with the individual, the amount taken, the environment they were taken in and the point at which you tested reactions.

Cocaine users are known to be alert drivers when they first take the drug, but then they have a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. The particular problem with cannabis is that it stays in a person's system for up to 30 hours but its effects wear off within a few hours.

Himself said...

Leaving all that aside, what does it matter what people smoke/neck/inject?

Isn't it a basic human right to partake of whatever takes your fancy without the fear of arrest and imprisonment, execution in extreme cases?

It's not about protecting people for their own good, it's solely about control.

We only pass this way once, who are the establishment to tell us what we might or might not experience?

Search 'Dubai' on this blog, it's nothing short of insanity.

Rosalinda Hutton said...

Hi ya, I am a great fan of your blog and have retweeted you. You might like my (short) blog item on Legalising Marijuana and ending the recession.

Himself said...

Rosalinda, noted, but you will have to afford me some little time before I can respond in a proper fashion. I have a new PC and systeem that I am running in tandem with the old one. (Two PCs one moniter)

Things ain't quite what they ought to be at the moment.

I can barely read what I am typing, it's that small.

Later then.