Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, November 13, 2006

Impaired while driving policy.

Toronto Star
Letter to the Editor / City Opinion
Dear Sir, Madam,
Suggested Title: Impaired while driving policy.
Standard Roadside Sobriety Testing (SRST) absent any evidential base whatsoever treats everyone driving as guilty until we have checked their societal compliance. Acting tough also ignores the policy's negative consequences.  


In the guise of looking for drug use, these are just 'personality' tests and will accomplish nothing more than provide for the RCMP to exercise latent and real prejudice with free reign.

An invention of zero tolerance conceived against a background of the USA's failure to prohibit much at all, SRST's subjectivity is as likely to let someone 'on their way' as provide for right to search and seize.  This is both fishing and 'net widening'. It will catch a few more people who are marginally alcohol impaired. It will also catch a few more who are carrying/transporting or have imbibed some 'other prevalent drugs of choice'. The net not only gets wider, but the mesh size decreases.


Subsequent compulsory testing at nano-gram accuracy will detect long lasting molecules of the popular herb. These signature metabolites are not impairing but that which remains long after any effect has been enjoyed. .


Retired Scotland Yard [Narcotics] Chief Det. Super. Eddie Ellison described this as 'licking someone's exhaust pipe to see if they have been speeding'.

There is also the perverse consequence of driving people to more harmful drugs that are harder to detect. The scientific literature suggests if everyone displaced risky alcohol consumption with cannabis, the road toll would plummet.  

Authorities will hail the roadside program a success, the media will report it, MADD will applaud and PM Harper will be reelected. Nothing, including the prevalence of drugs or the actual incidence of impaired driving will change. It falls way short of any standard upon which one destroys people's lives and careers.

The human condition is a many factored thing with stress, relationships, tiredness and distraction the cause of far more incidences and accidents than those caused by drug bogeymen. This will bring RCMP into disrepute by otherwise law abiding citizens


Given the popularity of cannabis in Canada this is a dangerously inept public practice to exact on otherwise good citizens, proof indeed that drugs impair politicians while driving policy.

Blair Anderson
Director, Educators for Sensible Drug Policy
50 Wainoni Road,
Christchurch, New Zealand
telephone +643 3894065

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