Monday, March 01, 2004
One of the Stupidest "Zero Tolerance" Laws on the Books
Comes to us from Michigan. As of fall of 2003, drivers with any trace of marijuana or Schedule 1 drugs in their systems are subject to the same fines and penalties as drunken drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment. Do law makers know that marijuana can stay in the blood stream for up to a month? I don't think anyone would argue that someone who had a puff of some marijuana three weeks ago is unfit to drive a car today. However, this is the type of unreasonable and downright idiotic laws we've come to expect from state and federal legislators on drug policy.
There is no thought, nor any rationale behind a law like this. It's just another way for the state to punish our friends and neighbors for using a substance it doesn't like. The description of this law by the way is part of a larger, grating article in the Flint Journal. The article is a shoddy summary of inaccurate conclusions about "research" on marijuana, ranging from its "addictive" effects to its potency, to the 'ol "four joints equals a pack of cigarettes" myth. Check out NORML's web site for a more educated, responsible, and accurate assessment of the harms and benefits of marijuana use.