Science, Enforcement Lag as Car Accidents, Claims Rise in Legal Cannabis States

By Courtney Rozen | November 18, 2019

  • November 18, 2019 at 9:54 am
    ralph says:
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    might as well just preemptively shut this comment section down now…

    HAPPY MONDAY, EVERYBODY!!!

    • November 18, 2019 at 6:06 pm
      Russell says:
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      Name a more iconic duo:

      Cannabis article on IJ
      Vitriolic comment sections

  • November 18, 2019 at 9:54 am
    Rosenblatt says:
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    Let’s see how long we can stay on-topic and not devolve the debate into insults, attacks, off-topic rants and the like…

    Does anyone here disagree with the following statements:

    1a) Unlike with alcohol, there’s not a proven scientific method of detecting it how impaired a person currently is on marijuana.

    1b) The issue with current marijuana tests is that those tests cannot say if the person is currently under the influence of the drug or if they had used it at an unknown time in the past.

    1c) It’s entirely possible that someone can test positive for marijuana in their system but they did not actually smoke or ingest marijuana that day

    2) Nobody should drive under the influence of marijuana or any other drug

    3) Marijuana is not safe, should not be used by children or adolescents and should not be used by pregnant women.

    4) While there are current programs in place to warn the public about the dangers of marijuana, those programs are clearly not doing a good enough job

    • November 18, 2019 at 11:05 am
      Captain Planet says:
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      I concur AND understand they are close to having a tool that can detect the levels of THC. This is certainly a step in the right direction and if someone is caught operating under the influence, he/she should face the penalizing consequences. The laws are in place for a reason. They even include those who are not controlling their diabetes correctly.

      • November 18, 2019 at 11:28 am
        Rosenblatt says:
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        “they are close to having a tool that can detect the levels of THC” I hope you’re right. There needs to be a legally and medically approved way to prove someone is CURRENTLY operating under the influence of marijuana.

        The tough part is setting the right level — if my mom smoked a joint three hours ago she shouldn’t be driving because she doesn’t smoke at all, but my buddy who smokes a joint every hour has a higher tolerance level and MAY be “fine” to drive if he last smoked 3 hours ago.

        I also agree with you that drivers under the influence should be penalized at the fullest extent of the law.

        • November 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          1. Rosenblatt supports legal pot for fun.
          2. Pot is legalized for fun in several states.
          3. Data comes in showing that more people in states that legalized for fun are dying in car crashes, are becoming addicted, are becoming mentally ill.
          4. Rosenblatt supports legal pot for fun.

          • November 18, 2019 at 2:30 pm
            sak74 says:
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            Craig,

            We get you are against this and that is fine everyone is allowed there opinion but your snarkiness can be dialed back given that absolutely none was directed at you in this particular comment thread….I am sick of all of these threads being over run by a certain few with political garbage, childish insults and/or snarkiness when NONE has been in the comment thread to begin with……your rude comments (yes they are indirectly rude) are not appreciated and really take away from adult discussion on topics allowing for differing views and opinions.

          • November 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm
            Craig Cornell says:
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            What did I state in the last post that was untrue? What did I state that was “snarky”? I am pointing out the refusal of Rosenblatt and others to reconsider their position on legalization despite the undeniable evidence of the negative consequences of legalization.

            Are you telling me Rosenblatt and others wanted these bad things to happen? They didn’t care if these things happened?

            At what point do you – or Rosenblatt – consider the damage being done to real people from the policies you support? Do we need a million people hurt in some way for you to re-think your position? Two million?

            Because with national legalization such a certainty – according to so many Pot Fans on Insurance Journal – those numbers will soon become real.

          • November 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm
            Rosenblatt says:
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            Craig – please do not post summations of what you think I’m saying as you have proven time and again that you do not fully comprehend the points I try to make.

            I have even had to repeat myself half a dozen times and in bold font to try and reorient your mindset as to what I’m actually saying, and you still didn’t seem to understand it after all those attempts.

            You don’t like it when other people put words in your mouth or attempt to summarize what you’ve said, so please treat me the same way that you ask others to treat you. It’s only fair.

          • November 18, 2019 at 3:36 pm
            Mike A says:
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            Once again, your reading comprehension suffers, I am afraid. According to the article, and I quote: “…traffic fatalities aren’t necessarily rising in the states that have legalized pot even as reports of accidents and collision claims have.” So your 3 statements in your third point are either off point or contradicted by the article. Perhaps a little unconscious bias seeping in?

          • November 18, 2019 at 4:55 pm
            Craig Cornell says:
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            Are you still in favor of legalization in light of the news about more deaths in car crashes, higher-than-before addiction rates, and permanent mental illness?

            If not, then I am wrong and I apologize.

            If so, I am right and you should save the self-righteous BS for someone dumber than me.

            So what is it? Yes or no?

          • November 19, 2019 at 12:44 am
            Jon says:
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            I was busy today, so let me resume schooling Craig.

            Once again, your information is misleading. Your claims about addiction are nonsense and not based in reality. Addiction is a complex phenomenon that can be triggered by some combination of genetic predisposition, mental illness, childhood trauma and other factors. People who seek out drugs as a way to self-medicate may start out with marijuana, but that does not mean that most, or even many, people who smoke pot are going to try other drugs, much less become addicted to them.

            Try to bring some knowledge to the table instead of this weak garbage you regularly try to share, Craig.

    • November 18, 2019 at 1:18 pm
      Dave says:
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      All well said and obvious to all but the brain dead. Anybody who did not see this coming is brain dead.

      • November 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm
        Rosenblatt says:
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        Come on man … there was no need for insults. That’s exactly what I was hoping to avoid!!

        • November 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          Ah, yes. Mr. Civility posts statements that anyone in the world would agree with and then lectures others about civility who express passion about deaths in car crashes. (When Rosenblatt isn’t responding to someone else’s post and then pretending that is “civility”.)

          “No one should ever hurt other people. No one should hurt themselves. No who agrees with me?”

          • November 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm
            Rosenblatt says:
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            So you agree with #4 then? So you’re FINALLY admitting you were incorrect when you posted “prevention and informing the public about potential harms is NOT happening”? It’s about time you admitted you were wrong about something.

          • November 18, 2019 at 2:24 pm
            Craig Cornell says:
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            Look for my response elsewhere in a response to someone else in this thread or another. (So YOU ADMIT YOU PLAY STUPID GAMES.)

        • November 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm
          Common Sense says:
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          Get your little feelings hurt Rosenblatt? Got caught in a lie you have been promoting for the past year or two? Admit you have been wrong all this time and we will get off your back.

          • November 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm
            Rosenblatt says:
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            Agent – please cite me verbatim as to the “lie” you claim I got caught in. I do not believe you can do that because I have not lied.

            If you can CITE EXACTLY what I said and it was a lie, I’d be happy to admit my mistake.

            I don’t want to see you simply claim something you think I said or misrepresent a point I made … cite my words exactly.

            The ball is in your court.

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:00 am
            Captain Planet says:
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            Hi Agent!

    • November 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm
      sak74 says:
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      Rosenblatt,

      I can agree with all of your above statements. I am not a fan of legalization for many of my own personal reasons, however the absolute biggest is the fact that there is no current way to determine if someone is currently impaired or not. Also it appears (based on some very quick searches and the article) that state to state where there is legalization there really is no set structure of how much is intoxicated or not. We know the issues and affects on drinking and driving and have seen the horrific accidents that have occurred, it just would have made sense to come up with the technology/regulations BEFORE legalizing.

      • November 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm
        Rosenblatt says:
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        100% agree with you, SAK. The issue I see with “it just would have made sense to come up with the technology/regulations BEFORE legalizing” is that it would first have to be removed as a Schedule 1 substance from the Federal level so there could actually be relevant testing of the current potency of what’s on the market and how it impacts people.

        Since the Fed apparently has no interest in making that change, it fell to the States to initiate action on reclassifying the drug from being 100% illegal, even solely to use for testing purposes. That said, I too wish there was a reliable test already in place before legalization began, but again – I think the Fed keep dragging their feet on the scheduling of the drug that it made useful scientific studies and analysis nearly impossible to conduct before the will of the people decided something had to change.

        • November 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm
          sak74 says:
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          This may be a naive view on my part, but, I personally feel the states that did legalize did so knowing the federal government had/has no current plans for legalization. They knowingly proceeded with making the change in their state so therefore they should take on the responsibility of making sure tests and laws/regulations were in place before legalization. It seems it should be common sense that we saw the lead up to establishing current drunk driving laws/regulation/testing and we see the changes that have occurred because those things in place.

          • November 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm
            Rosenblatt says:
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            I completely understand your point, SAK. I still think the major issue between alcohol and marijuana in the ‘cross all your “T”s so you know how to test inebriation before your legalize’ is due to the status of marijuana being a Scheduled 1 substance.

            Last I checked, only one place in the US (a University of Mississippi farm) is allowed to grow marijuana under federal regulations. Not only is there insufficient supply for testing, but the hoops that researchers need to jump through simply to get a sample for testing is a huge barrier.

            (Presuming things haven’t changed) Since there’s only one place that can legally grow for research purposes, you also have the issue of differences in strains and potency not being tested. I don’t know for sure – but say the UoM farm only grows high THC marijuana. The testing of health benefits from that strand versus the results you may get from a strain that’s high in CBD are significant.

            Listen (not meant derogatorily) – I agree there’s been a rush to legalize and not all the facts are known; however, I think that’s mainly because the Fed is dragging their heels in the sand keeping it a Schedule 1 substance which severely inhibits the testing you and I both think needs be done.

            If the Fed is going to take their sweet time to make any change and the people aren’t willing to wait decades until they finally come around, change must begin at the State level to force the Fed’s hands. I think that’s where we’re at.

            Regardless of all that, as I’ve read posts from you numerous times now, I thank you for your on-topic reply which did not include insults, personal attacks, or other argument fallacies. I look forward to discussing & debating with you more in the future.

          • November 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm
            sak74 says:
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            I agree, the Federal level are dragging feet and my guess would be they want to see all or the great majority of states decide the matter before they take the plunge. My guess is neither side wants to piss off or alienate supporters and voters…….if the vast majority or all states legalize it then the feds can say welp I guess since everyone else has we should also (which is ridiculous). I have my own reasons and beliefs for being against legalizing and I won’t bore anyone with them, but if my state and the federal govt do legalize I will not be all up in arms about it I will simply continue to abstain from use and let those that want to partake do so. I just feel very, very strongly about the testing issue. Not only when it comes to driving under the influence, but also with regards to employment issues that was brought up in another comment thread below. It can be a very slippery slope and could cause a lot of wrongful termination lawsuits. I know the powers that be could not foresee every issue that may come up due to legalization however there seem to be a few pretty big areas that were neglected.

            I do understand the information you provided regarding the testing issue and lack of enough product to test, etc. and I appreciate that. I will be the first to admit I don’t know very much about the subject but I am learning through discussions such as these.

  • November 18, 2019 at 11:08 am
    Brian Kelly says:
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    Legalizing Marijuana will not create a massive influx of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.

    It will not create an influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) under the influence on the job either.

    This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.

    Truth: Responsible drivers don’t drive while impaired on any substance period!

    Irresponsible drivers are already on our roads, and they will drive while impaired regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    Therefore, legalizing marijuana will have little impact on the amount of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.

    The same thing applies to people being under the influence of marijuana on the job.

    Responsible people do not go to work impaired, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    What has actually occurred in states that have legalized marijuana is that law enforcement agencies statewide immediately and vigorously began a new policy of testing more drivers than they ever did before legalization occured for residual trace amounts of THC. Which remain detectable in a driver’s system for up to months after consuming marijuana.

    This obviously in no way proves actual impairment at the time a driver is pulled over. So for instance, the police get to the scene of a roadside accident with a fatality. The driver at fault, is let’s say for example three times over the legal alcohol BAC limit, but the police also insist on a test for marijuana. Although bear in mind, with a BAC three times over the legal limit for booze and with all the obvious tell-tale signs of impairment, it’s plain for all to immediately see, and know, that alcohol was the drug responsible for this tragedy….

    Residual trace amounts of THC are detected in the driver’s system after the police conclude their very specific and intentional policy driven test for those residual trace amounts of THC. A month prior to being pulled over, the driver consumed a little marijuana socially with friends…

    Obviously, the joint or two from a month ago had nothing to do with this fatal and tragic accident, but the booze the driver drank at the bar before he got into his car that very same night most certainly did.

    Law enforcement now marks off this accident as another marijuana “INVOLVED” fatality in order to bolster their bogus statistics.

    Prohibitionists always use terms like “INVOLVED” , “RELATED” or “LINKED” when they tout these horrific sounding statistics and claims. Because they can’t ever prove marijuana impairment alone to be the actual “CAUSE”.

    In states that have now legalized marijuana, when you get pulled over for speeding or even anything at all, law enforcement policy will automatically also require that the police administer that very same test for residual trace amounts of THC from up to months prior to being pulled over. Which again, in no way proves impairment whatsoever and then the results are added on as just another one of their bogus marijuana “INVOLVED/RELATED”/LINKED” statistics.

    This is nothing more than merely another prohibitionist scare tactic. The goal being to frighten and alarm the public back into the strict prohibition of marijuana.

    Well guess what? The public isn’t buying it and everyone sees the deceit by ever more desperate prohibitionist zealots. Hell-bent on keeping marijuana illegal. So, the public is already well aware that when such claims are made about marijuana “INVOLVED/RELATED/LINKED” deaths, they are flat out lies!

    Nobody is so gullible as to believe these utterly nonsense prohibitionist claims of massive amounts of new marijuana impaired drivers.

    Now, I challenge all anti-marijuana prohibitionist types publicly yet again:

    Please provide us proof of just one single roadway fatality proven one hundred percent to have been “CAUSED” (Not “INVOLVED/ Not “RELATED”/Not “LINKED”) by marijuana impairment and only marijuana impairment, alone.

    The public is waiting for prohibitionists to provide indisputable proof of just one such death “CAUSED” directly and solely by marijuana impairment, alone. Just one. (Not even the massive influx prohibitionists claim. Just one.)

    We’ll wait….and wait…and wait….While we all know they simply can’t. Because it’s all just propaganda, lies, and scare-tactics.

    *yawns*
    Next?

    • November 18, 2019 at 11:09 am
      Brian Kelly says:
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      Contrary to what prohibitionists are so desperately trying to get the public to believe wholeheartedly and without question, legalizing marijuana IS NOT adding anything new into our society that wasn’t always there and widely available already.

      Therefore marijuana legalization does not lead to some massive influx of new marijuana consumers. The very same people who have been consuming marijuana during it’s prohibition are for the most part the very same ones who will be consuming marijuana when it’s legal.

      The prohibition of marijuana has never prevented marijuana’s widespread availability nor anyone from consuming marijuana that truly desires to do so.

      Marijuana has been ingrained within our society since the days of our founding fathers and part of human culture since biblical times, for thousands of years.

      So, since marijuana has always been with us and humans already have thousands upon thousands of years worth of experience with marijuana, what great calamities and “Doomsday Scenarios” do prohibitionists really think will happen now due to current legalization efforts that have never ever happened before in all human history?

      Legalize Nationwide!

      • November 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm
        Craig Cornell says:
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        Your comments are directly refuted by the data published by Insurance Journal in this article and last week’s article. Not to mention loads of data published by reputable sources such as the AMA, the American Psychiatry Association, Biological Psychiatry, the Lancet in England, etc. etc. etc.

      • November 18, 2019 at 2:53 pm
        sak74 says:
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        If there is not currently a means to test THC levels to determine if someone’s use was an hour ago or two months ago how can it be determined beyond dispute that an accident was caused fully by or not at all by THC in someone’s system? It is my current understanding this type of technology has not yet been developed (from things I have read it is being worked on). It isn’t fair to ask for data that there is no way it could be generated.

        Given that there is not method for on the spot detection there is no standard for what is considered legally impaired or not and in states that do have a level the specify how do you prove the drive was actually impaired or not?

        Whether you are for or against legalization there really does need to be some ways to detect impairment and be able to prove impairment.

        • November 18, 2019 at 4:59 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          Well then you explain the unbelievable coincidence that car crash rates have gone way up but only in states that legalized? In surrounding states that did not legalize, car crash rates went down.

          Have at it. What have you got? Some silly “correlation isn’t causation” nonsense? The cops in those states are confident that what they are seeing is real, that many people causing car crashes appear very stoned at the time.

          Do you think THC does NOT cause car crashes? If so, say so.

          • November 19, 2019 at 12:46 am
            Jon says:
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            Totally, so we should immediately make alcohol illegal because of the high number of DUIs and alcohol related crashes that occur every year. It’s not a “correlation isn’t causation” argument, which you call nonsense but is actually a very real scientific argument that you have tried to negate because it factually discredits your constant false, unproven statements about marijuana. It’s just applying your same logic to another thing that you seem to have no problem with that causes for more car crashes. But your hypocrisy only extends to marijuana, because of your personal bias. How boring that you keep trying these same childish tactics.

          • November 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm
            sak74 says:
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            Craig….I am going to respond to your comment as it appears you were responding to mine, if that is not the case my apologies, please disregard!

            I do believe THC does cause car crashes much like alcohol, certain medical conditions, and certain medications can (anything that can alter a persons perceptions and reactions can cause car accidents).

            I also do think the researchers have drawn an educated conclusion in stating that THC has caused accident levels to go up compared to states that have not legalized (I didn’t see in the article where it stated crashes in non-legal states went down so I cannot comment to that).

            At this time there is no way for anyone to be able to say THC was the specific cause of an accident because there is no way to determine if the THC found in their blood is currently causing impairment or has been in there blood from several days beforehand. The person may not be high at the time of the accident but have another factor that caused them to crash. The person with THC in there system may not have caused the crash at all. The article really didn’t go into much detail if they were just looking at drivers with THC in their blood that were determined to be at fault or if they were just looking at blood levels of drivers with THC even if the driver with THC was not at fault.

            I really don’t think we will be able to have a clear understanding on the impact of MJ legalization and car crashes until there is a definitive way to determine someone’s level of intoxication due to THC at that moment.

    • November 18, 2019 at 1:22 pm
      Dave says:
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      Empirical evidence says otherwise. The article clearly points out the large rise in auto accidents in the states that first legalized marijuana. Your “assumptions” don’t falsify actual evidence.

    • November 18, 2019 at 1:38 pm
      Joy says:
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      January 1, 2014 Colorado’s recreational weed went on sale. In May 2014 a family member had major surgery in Colorado, the following day while the patient was in ICU the physical therapist arrived at patient’s ICU recovery room. The PT was stoned at 8 AM.
      Since then at my local small town hospital several physical therapists, a radiology tech, and several nurses have been fired for failing to pass the their random drug tests having tested positive of cannabis.
      The head of the surgery department constantly argues with some of the staff — nursing etc that they are NOT allowed to use cannabis and remain employed at the hospital. SOME of the staff argue that because cannabis is legal in Colorado that they are entitled to use cannabis contrary to the best interests of patient care and hospital employment standards.
      Colorado emergency room departments are seeing an increase in assaults on hospital staff members from aggressive / violent cannabis impaired patients.

      • November 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm
        Craig Cornell says:
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        Based on my experience, expect personal attacks to begin in 3, 2, 1 . . .

      • November 18, 2019 at 2:53 pm
        Perplexed says:
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        Revealing comment, Joy. “We all want potheads in on our surgeries”, said no one. Jon, Captain and some others would probably not care since pot isn’t a problem.

        • November 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm
          helpingout says:
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          As someone who supports legalization, even though I do not partake, I would agree that this situation the person should be fired. Although I support legalization, I do not agree with people who use THC before working. That is unsafe for everyone involved. Now had they used CBD for a medical reason (there are numerous, cancer, epilepsy, hell even Crohn’s) that is different as they do not get the psychological high most people associate with cannabis. CBD does not impair your driving or any other ability, but THC 100% does.

          No one should go to work high, drunk, or on any other drugs besides caffeine. Now what someone does in their own free time if they are not working or driving or anything that affects another person, why should I care if they drink or smoke some pot? Personally, I do not,

          I really hope they get the device working that helps determine someones level of intoxication from cannabis, and some police departments are testing some now.

          • November 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm
            Captain Planet says:
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            I echo helpingout’s points – exactly right.

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:12 am
            helpingout says:
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            To anyone down voting, why not engage constructively. Why do you disagree with what I said?

            Is it the basic notion that I support legalization or is it an issue with me saying people should use THC before they work?

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:28 am
            ralph says:
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            helpingout– don’t take the downvotes personally. A lot of times people are just downvoting the messenger because they don’t agree with them politically; most of the time it has nothing to do with the actual message.

            look at my brilliantly off-topic comment below about the SwissCheese Paradox…someone actually downvoted it! I’m pretty sure it was a vegan BOT that did.

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:49 am
            helpingout says:
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            Those vegan bots are just taking over this site. IJ really needs to up their security to combat these cheesy thieves….

            On a different note, I understand that, but I still want to try and engage those constructively. We too often than not on this site get into long off topic discussions due to some people on here who aren’t here to talk about insurance or the overall impacts on our industry. I have been refraining from going down those rabbit holes and trying to steer the conversation back onto a more positive light where people can openly and honestly discuss their opinions (as long as they aren’t ignorant or racist).

      • November 18, 2019 at 3:12 pm
        sak74 says:
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        I have often wondered how situations like this would be handled in a work environment…..

        Example 1: A nurse has dinner and drinks (three glasses of wine) with friends on a Monday evening and is home by 10pm with nothing more to drink. At 8AM she arrives to work for her shift. If tested she will not show any BAC nor would she be intoxicated/impaired.

        Example 2: A nurse gets home from work at 6pm smokes MJ and is done with no more by 10pm. At 8AM she arrives to work for her shift. If tested she will show THC in her system and yet she may not be intoxicated or impaired.

        Is an employer able to dictate that an employee is allowed to consume alcohol on their own time but not smoke MJ when both are legal substances? Does the employee have the right to sue based on that? How would the courts respond?

        I just really wish that states that legalized recreational use would have considered these types of scenarios and come up with a way to determine someone’s immediate level of intoxication at that moment.

        • November 18, 2019 at 10:30 pm
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
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          Consider the long-term cognitive impairment due to stoning over the years. NOW consider the impact of stoners in the OR or ER who have been stoning for over a decade, yet are not stoned at the time of an operation or ER treatment.

          Would you sign up for surgery in a hospital in a stoning state wherein the hospital does not fire stoners, stoned or not at the time of work?

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:07 am
            Captain Planet says:
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            I know of several friends who have been “stoning” as you put it for 3 decades+. They are leaders in their communities and greatly successful in their careers. Absolutely zero signs of cognitive impairment and I saw them in college, basically 3X a day smokers. So, yes, if they are not stoned at the time, I’d sign up for the surgery. Would you avoid a surgery because someone drank for a decade, as long as they weren’t drunk the day of the surgery?

          • November 19, 2019 at 10:15 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            Your inner circle of friends is too small a sample size to be meaningful.

            You have no credibility because you didn’t name the ‘well-respected’ individuals. Essentially, they are similar to unnamed Whistleblowers who opine about proper US foreign policy.

            Talk about the recent scientific studies that buttress my statement about cognitive impairment after decades of stoning, rather than take a Straw Man argument approach to your reply (not rebuttal).

          • November 19, 2019 at 10:48 am
            helpingout says:
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            Please share your link to that study. I want to see some of their parameters they researched specifically the age of the sample size and if they did a random selection, or if they also included kids under the age of 18 who first started smoking. I say this because we have discussed how it does affect long term cognitive affects if you start smoking when you are a kid, but adults are a no on that front. WE have all said children should refrain from smoking, just like they should with drinking. There is only so much you can do to curb both things from happening.

            Additionally a lot of studies do not exclude other drugs. If you have someone who does harder drugs that literally damage the brain, do you chalk it up to cannabis or the other? Answer for most studies is they associate it with cannabis rather than the more harmful substance. Statistics are hard, and doing a great study is even harder. Excluding everything that could skew the data is hard and you need to read the whole thing.

          • November 19, 2019 at 10:53 am
            helpingout says:
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            Also your point regarding all of the not naming people is childish. It is not up to you or anyone else to share what someone does in their personal time. People like you are to quick to judge and shame, when you have no reason to.

            Your political comment is also asinine, you have never worked in the government, but these people have for a while most of the time. The president had no background in governance or the law, but these people do. There is a huge difference in that.

          • November 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm
            sak74 says:
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            Polar I am going to preface my response by stating I am not for legalization for my own personal reasons that I will keep to myself as they are opinion based. That being said, yes there may be doctors that smoke MJ regularly outside of their work hours, that do not come to work high/stoned. Like any substance I am sure there are cognitive affects, but they won’t be the same for every person. One person may be absolutely fine and another could have severe issues. The same can be said if a doctor were to drink alcohol on a daily basis. The cognitive affects of that could be just as equal. I don’t ask my doctors now if they drink so I wouldn’t ask a doctor if they smoke (if that were legal where I am from). My decision would be based solely on the performance of the doctor in past incidents and what others have to say about said doctor. My pondering above was more from an employment practices liability angle. How can an employer justify firing an employee from partaking in one legal mind altering substance (MJ) on their own time but not another one (alcohol).

  • November 18, 2019 at 11:25 am
    ralph says:
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    Here’s what I don’t understand:

    1). We can agree that swiss cheese if full of holes
    2). a hole in cheese means there is no cheese in said hole.
    3). the more pieces of swiss cheese you eat, the more holes you’re encountering.
    4). technically, the more swiss cheese you eat, the less swiss cheese you’re eating.

    Can someone please explain this to me?

    • November 18, 2019 at 11:29 am
      Rosenblatt says:
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      I think it’s called the inverse square law of fromage, but I could be wrong :)

  • November 18, 2019 at 11:48 am
    Craig Cornell says:
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    First, acknowledgement to Insurance Journal for finally publishing articles about the downsides of legal pot. Granted, this is in the “car accident” category that IJ has focused on before, but last week was an article on rising dependency and addiction rates for kids and adults in States that legalized.

    Second, this is exactly what I said about car crashes in States that legalized a couple of months ago, after reading the data. I was – as usual – attacked with insults by the civility crowd. (Anyone up for an apology? A mea culpa? HA HA HA HA HA!)

    Third, I am just amazed at the lack of compassion from the Pro Pot crowd. Okay, maybe not, as I was always aware of the lack of real compassion from those folks who would never even acknowledge there was a price to pay for legalization. But STILL! The data is clear: More kids are getting addicted, more people are dying in car crashes, more people are becoming permanently mentally ill and STILL the Pot Fans act like nothing is happening.

    Hmmmmmmm….

  • November 18, 2019 at 12:02 pm
    An Actuary says:
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    “The first thing federal policy needs to be is investment in research to develop real-time technology to protect people who may be heavily under the influence of marijuana,” said DeFazio.

    Here I would think the priority should be protecting those who aren’t from those who are. I guess I have a very antiquated view on what the role of government should be.

    • November 18, 2019 at 1:51 pm
      Captain Planet says:
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      I think that is the point of having that instrument. Without it, it is guesswork about those who are versus those who aren’t. That instrument will help deter those who are going to chance operating under the influence. It’s a game-changer, much like the breath test for alcohol.

    • November 18, 2019 at 2:57 pm
      Perplexed says:
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      I second that thought, Actuary. However, in todays world everyone, no matter how irresponsible they are can’t be expected to fact the consequences of their actions. Even criminals are highly protected while their victims reap the rewards of the criminals illegal, immoral acts.

      • November 19, 2019 at 12:49 am
        Jon says:
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        Really? Because our incarceration rate is higher than any other developed country. The closest to us is Russia. But criminals “are protected” and “don’t face the consequences of their actions”? Is that what you were trying to say? And what data do you base this on? To say nothing of the racial and socio-economic biases that afflict our judicial system and cause repeated injustices, you’re definitely the authority right? You should be so lucky to never have a family member wrapped up in the legal system in our country, because you wouldn’t talk such ignorance if you actually knew anything about what our system does to people, especially people of color.

  • November 18, 2019 at 1:17 pm
    Jack says:
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    Like i said before, the only ones calling for it to be legal are the ones still smoking it or the ones that never smoked it.

  • November 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm
    joy says:
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    From the article —

    “Scientists know that drivers who are high tend to drive at lower speeds, have more difficulty staying in their lanes, and are slower to brake in an emergency than drunk drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported.”

    ===========
    These “scientists” who claim that stoned drivers ‘tend to drive at lower speeds” should get on the road ways in Colorado.

    We have found the stoned drivers are erratic drivers — quick for road rage, tail gate, fail to maintain lanes, fail to make correct turns, and drive at extremely high speeds.

    I witnessed a vehicle driven by an impaired stoned driver attempt a right hand turn and rather than successfully complete the turn managed to block the oncoming traffic to the street he was attempting to enter. How do I know he was impaired? Because I witnessed him toking while driving.

    My auto insurance rates with the company I had been with for 8 years — last year increased over 12% and my agent said it was a direct result of the cannabis impaired drivers (accidents and injuries). This year I was forced to find a less expensive insurance company to insure us who have a spotless driving record.

    Last year after experiencing a crazed cannabis impaired driver on the highway — I counted at least 8 moving violations of this driver whose high speeds and reckless disregard for others place five other vehicles in harms way. The speed limit was posted at 60 MPH — the impaired driver was doing at least 100 MPH — passing with oncoming traffic, cutting off other drivers, tail gating, failing to maintain his lane. About 10 minutes later, we spotted this driver parked at a cannabis recreational dispensary. We installed a camera in our vehicle to record these dangerous drivers on Colorado roadways because of prior problems of impaired drivers. Law enforcement units are now using this video for training of their officers.

    • November 18, 2019 at 4:59 pm
      Captain Planet says:
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      Anyone driving impaired on any substance should face the consequences. That is why the law is on the books and has been, right?

      • November 18, 2019 at 5:20 pm
        Craig Cornell says:
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        Exactly. How’s that working for you?

        • November 18, 2019 at 5:36 pm
          helpingout says:
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          Why do we have people that still drunk drive?

          Both shouldn’t happen, but they do. Let’s have laws very similar to alcohol in place for cannabis. Why are you against setting up laws that are similar to alcohol?

          • November 18, 2019 at 10:34 pm
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            No one supports drunk driving. Except drunks who drive drunk.

            Let’s have laws that make stoning illegal. Oh, wait! Federal law does just that, and has done so for many decades…

          • November 19, 2019 at 12:51 am
            Jon says:
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            So you’re saying we should make alcohol illegal too? Your response is nonsense if that’s not what you were implying, so you’re for starting prohibition again or you’re just trying to use nonsense to further an anti-marijuana argument instead of actually having a conversation. Almost as if you were just trolling this comments section with your right-wing garbage. Huh. Wouldn’t that just be crazy?

          • November 19, 2019 at 9:07 am
            helpingout says:
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            But why your whole approach of prohibition regarding cannabis, and not alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of worse short and long term affects compared to cannabis.

            We need laws almost exactly the same as alcohol for cannabis.

            I don’t see anyone really supporting driving under any influence on this site, but why are you for one and against the other?

          • November 19, 2019 at 10:18 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            I didn’t say I support impaired driving for ANY reason. Straw Man arguments will not draw me into further discussion off the main topic.

          • November 19, 2019 at 10:51 am
            helpingout says:
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            who said you supported impaired driving? My comment regarding why are you for one and not the other is in reference to alcohol legalization and laws to curb these issues we have with both substances compared to your stance on cannabis. Alcohol has more long and short term negative effects, but I only see you advocating for cannabis prohibition which has proven to not work.

            We also have an issue with people on opiates, and a lot of other drugs, and I think it is safe to say no one wants these people on the roads as they cause a greater risk to everyone else.

        • November 19, 2019 at 9:14 am
          Captain Planet says:
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          It could be improved, of course. How many more would do it if there were no laws against it? Yes, people drive drunk all the time. People drive with unregulated diabetes all the time. People drive stoned all the time (on various substances), regardless of its legal status. All of those constitute a DUI. But, when those individuals get caught, the consequences are heavy.

  • November 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm
    James E Tripp says:
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    Medical Cannabis users can run at blood levels of 10 to 50 ng/ml of THC and even higher in some cases.

    Assumption of impairment also ignores levels of CBD which have a major mitigating factor in the psychoactive effects of THC.

    Many aspects of the new Canadian Cannabis Act impairment laws are brutally unconstitutional and will continue to be challenged in court due to the vast range of human tolerance to THC and the inconsistency of it’s impact on various individual human physiology.

    In the vast majority of medicinal applications, the daily use of Cannabis medicine results in a n almost complete and total tolerance to the psychoactive effects of Delta 9 THC due to the receding of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, specifically in the brain, resulting in no impairment in the ability to operate a motor vehicle while using Cannabis medicine properly.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/medicinal-cannabis-impairment-james-tripp/

  • November 18, 2019 at 3:53 pm
    Smooth says:
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    Just some things to ponder…. (I do not smoke weed)

  • November 18, 2019 at 3:58 pm
    Smooth says:
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    Whoops. Hit the wrong button.
    1. This data is nearly 4 years old. How have the last 4 years been?
    2. Did the rise in car accidents occur because of MJ, or was it just in the drivers system as they are now testing for it, whereas in the past, they did not.
    3. Where is the data on the number of drivers on the road as compared to years past? Are there more younger drivers? Are there more drivers in general? The article only states comparisons were taken. Ok, that’s like the pollsters who say people in one state are ALL voting for one party because they made 200 phone calls, then decided that was enough for a state of millions of people.

    I’m not saying it’s safe to drive while impaired. I am saying it is comparing apples to oranges to suddenly begin testing for something that wasn’t tested for years ago, then blame the rise in incidents on said drug. That’s fuzzy math.

    The truth is people will drive impaired today. They were doing so yesterday. A legit driver will NOT drive impaired. Those driving under the influence should be punished, but punishing those that do not do it is called Communism.

    • November 18, 2019 at 5:01 pm
      Craig Cornell says:
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      Other news reports say the the number of people using has gone UP in states that legalized. And so it makes perfect sense that car crashes from stoned drivers would go up.

      • November 19, 2019 at 12:53 am
        Jon says:
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        Where do these “reports” get their numbers? Link an actual credible source. Except you won’t, because you’re generalizing. If you did actually post something, it would be likely their numbers are gathered from estimates based on the amounts dispensaries are selling. This would have no basis of comparison, because there is no log of how many people were using marijuana illegally before the laws changed. Once again, you’re using misinformation and false statements to further your agenda. Why don’t you try linking to actual data? I don’t have to, because I’m not the one who has repeatedly blatantly lied about the facts in my arguments on here. That’s you, Craig. Try to stop being so full of nonsense and lies.

  • November 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm
    Reality_Based_Community says:
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    Did anyone read the actual study. First, the findings for two of the three states are not even statistically significant, and shouldn’t have even been reported. Second, accident rates appear to have *declined* even in the pot states, just not as rapidly as the statistical model predicts (for one state) would have occurred if pot hadn’t been legalized. The headline is totally misleading. Actually, it’s just wrong.

    I won’t even begin to attempt to refute some of the obvious factual errors made in some of the comments (pot isn’t addictive, etc). But those of you advocating for pot prohibition understand that traffic fatalities due to alcohol dwarf those caused by pot. Do you same people advocate for the prohibition of alcohol?

    • November 18, 2019 at 6:38 pm
      Craig Cornell says:
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      Actually, yes THC Is addictive. Google the question if you are an honest person.

      And anyone who says THC can’t cause car accidents is either dishonest, or ignorant. But OF COURSE it can cause car crashes.

      And as before, since usage is reported to be UP in states that legalized (big surprise), then it is perfectly logical that THC-induced car crashes are up.

      And then on to the dumbest argument in the Pot Fan bag: “hey, man, alcohol is legal so let’s make other bad things legal”.

      Dude: THC causes a loss in IQ. Ease up.

      • November 18, 2019 at 9:30 pm
        Reality_based_community says:
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        Pot is not physically addictive. There are some who claim it is “psychologically” addictive, but that’s stretching the definition of addiction to the point of absurdity. Taking that definition, any habit can be addictive. The fact is there are no significant physical withdrawal symptoms in the way that there are such symptoms for alcohol, opiates, nicotine, etc.

        Secondly, the study makes no attempt to measure actual pot use in legal states. It doesn’t even attempt to tie pot directly to vehicle crashes. It is a statistical model comparing overall crash rates over time to neighboring states. Again, the results aren’t even statistically significant in two of the three states.

        To be intellectually honest, then you have to agree with prohibition of alcohol, which cause far more crashes that pot. It’s not even close. Why prohibit one (the one far less severe) than the other? What’s the rationale? Let’s make alcohol illegal. It follows logically from your premise. Or is it that you personally use alcohol and not pot?

        • November 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          Let’s make LSD legal. Let’s make Meth legal. Why stop at THC? Cocaine? In order to be “intellectually honest”. All pharmeceutical drugs? C’mon, man, be intellectually honest!

          And regarding physical addiction, guess who said the following:

          Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Recent data suggest that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder.18 People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.19

          Marijuana use disorders are often associated with dependence—in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. People who use marijuana frequently often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.20,21 Marijuana dependence occurs when the brain adapts to large amounts of the drug by reducing production of and sensitivity to its own endocannabinoid neurotransmitters.22,23

      • November 18, 2019 at 10:00 pm
        Reality_Based_Community says:
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        And in case you don’t science, the fact that two of the three states evinced no statistically significant result means that the majority of the evidence presented in the study indicates that legalizing pot has *no* impact on accident rates.

        • November 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          So you believe THC can’t impair drivers, is that so? (Please say so and make me laugh.)

  • November 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm
    PolarBeaRepeal says:
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    This pair of findings in the study indicates the author censored the most important information to create the impression that fatalities have dropped in Stoner States:

    ” The percent of drivers in fatal crashes who tested positive for Delta-9 THC at the 5ng/mL level decreased from 11.6% in 2016 to 7.5% in 2017.

    The number of fatalities where a driver tested positive for any cannabinoid (Delta 9 or any other metabolite) increased from 55 (11% of all fatalities) in 2013 to 139 (21% of all fatalities) in 2017. ”

    The article shows only a rephrased first finding, based on THC only;

    “In Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, officials have seen a decrease in marijuana-impaired traffic fatalities. About 8% of all traffic fatalities tested positive for five nanograms of THC in 2017, down from 12% in 2016, according to the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice.”

    The second finding in the study tells a very different story about traffic accident fatalities as compared to the (only) THC-use fatalities. I did not read much of the study to discern the individual types of cannabinoids counted and their potencies.

    Despite the censoring of the data / findings, I have very little confidence in findings based on fatalities in a handful of states because the sheer number size doesn’t provide statistical significance for drawing conclusions that may be used to set public policy or legislation to sustain or repeal ‘stoning statutes’ that violate Federal Laws.



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