We have all seen that “Just Say No!” ads that pop up on television where the stoned kids run over a little girl while pulling out of a fast food drive thru and screamed out (hoping that during all this animation, the bong does not spill) “BULLSHIT”.
In my living room, this singular piece of propaganda would then be followed by a tirade about how driving high is like piloting the space shuttle and it turns any driving scenario into a leisurely Sunday drive in the Country (making the chances of accidents spawned from some hurried movement)
[It is important to note that this scene is usually followed closely by my wife rolling her eyes and- on those spirited occasions where she feels more Alice Kramden than June Cleaver- reminding me of all the off road trips we had taken because the iPod had found it’s groove… or that time when I slammed on the brakes because I swore there was a cow crossing the road… or the 50 yards too soon braking I do for red lights…]
Well finally I have found the building block I have needed to properly defend the hill I had intended on dying on…
Claiming everything from potheads being less inclined to be risk takers and that due to the criminality of the activity keeping potheads home, the insurance casting net claimed that study after study has proved that smoking pot and driving is nowhere near as dangerous as driving after a couple drinks (if, in fact, driving stoned is dangerous at all).
The study’s results drew their controversial results from the outcomes of several studies hailing from the four corners of the Earth (namely Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, and the UK) that have been conducted over the past twenty years (although it never names the studies, but why point out the thinness of an argument that one agrees with…), the claim being made by insurance peddling website is that despite the zero tolerance policy maintained by every single form of Law Enforcement in the United States it is perfectly safe to drive a car stoned on pot.
In a press release (no doubt intended to get the attention of sites such as this one) stated as much; their claims defended by the afore mentioned two decade long study which looked into statistics regarding traffic accidents and violations and insurance prices in order to dispel the commonly held beliefs that ‘driving while stoned’ is dangerous.
According to the group:
"... Research studies in the Netherlands at the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research showed that drivers with blood alcohol rates of .5 percent up to .8 percent had accidents five times more than other drivers, and with higher amounts of alcohol, accidents happening up to 15 times more often. But, the marijuana smokers actually showed these drivers posed no risk at all!
Reasons cited for stoned drivings not being much of a threat to public highway safety include their tendency to drive slower, and their propensity to stay home rather than go out partying.
In addition, one study by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows that drivers with THC in their systems have accident responsibility rates lower than those of drug-free drivers."
You read that right…
Not only is it safer than drunk driving… It is safer than sober driving.
I'd go so far as to say it’s irresponsible to not drive a little squinty eyed!
"What law enforcement agencies and insurers do not understand is that driving while high is actually a safe activity," CEO James Shaffer said. "I guess the key to safer driving is to use marijuana, but to do it under wraps."
One recent study indicated that traffic related fatalities fell by up to nine percent in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Entitled "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," the study, conducted in November 2011, found increased cannabis use by adults decreased alcohol related traffic deaths in those states.
The study provides evidence that marijuana is a safer substitute for alcohol when it comes to health and also makes for safer drivers.
"Marijuana users often say that when they are high, they feel like they are driving 60 miles per hour but actually are only going 30 miles per hour," Shaffer said. "When somebody is drunk driving, on the other hand, they often feel like they are driving 30 miles per hour but they are actually driving 80 miles per hour. This is what makes alcohol dangerous behind the wheel, and marijuana safe."
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