Top 5 Bad Excuses for Voting Against Pot Legalization
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My fellow pot smokers, we are on the brink of victory! Tomorrow voters in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado will make history. For the first time in America, three states will be deciding whether to end the criminal prohibition of adult marijuana for personal use. In just one election after the defeat of California's Prop 19, marijuana may go from being contraband worthy of imprisonment to being a commodity sold legally in the state. In one, two, or three states, we go from being criminals to being consumers.
And yet there are people who smoke pot now who are actively fighting against these measures. These "Stoners Against (This) Legalization" are trying to frighten and confuse us into voting for our own criminality. If they succeed, they will have handed the Drug Czar his greatest victory yet - the entire West Coast and Colorado voting against legalization in the span of two elections.
If you're still on the fence, my cannabis consuming brothers and sisters, here are the top five reasons we've found from those pot smokers who'll be voting with the Drug Czar, the prosecutors, the rehabs, the prison guards, and the cops who want to keep putting you in cages for smoking weed... and why they're nonsense.
SCARE #1) You'll never be able to drive a car - you'll be an "automatic DUID"!
This is a scare tactic in Washington State, where the legalization measure contains a controversial "per se DUID" provision. Basically, if a cop pulls you over and arrests you for a DUID, they will test your blood. If it is over a certain level, the judge tells the jury that is proof enough of the fact you were impaired behind the wheel. This is how alcohol DUIDs work - if you're arrested by a cop who thinks you're driving drunk, they make you blow in a breathalyzer. If you're "over the limit" of 0.08 blood-alcohol content, you're considered to be too drunk to drive.
Where the controversy exists is that the level for active impairing THC in the blood is set to 5 nanograms per milliliter. Marijuana is not chemically like alcohol, so you can't really set a one-size-fits-all limit like alcohol that shows somebody was recently toking and is currently impaired. Some of us who toke deeply and often may be over the limit hours after we've consumed and may be quite unimpaired behind the wheel. Some occasional light tokers might be too impaired to drive even when under the limit.
WHY IT'S WRONG: Nothing about Washington's legalization measure changes DUIDs at the "cop level". Anything cops do now to catch people driving stoned is what they will still do after legalization passes, which means they still need to have objective evidence of your impaired driving in order to arrest you and take your blood. If, indeed, you're quite unimpaired behind the wheel, what is leading the officer to believe you're driving impaired? Because driving with active impairing THC in your blood is against the law now. When those cases go to trial, ANY amount of THC in blood can and usually does get you a DUID conviction.
Let's be clear that we are talking about active impairing THC in blood, not the inactive metabolites of marijuana that show up in your urine on your workplace drug tests days or even weeks after your last use. Some pot-smoking opponents of this legalization have purposefully blurred that distinction to heighten the scare. For most tokers, 1-4 hours after you've consumed, you will be below the legal limit. For the rest of us, well, how long have you been driving and how many times have you been arrested? That arrest risk does not increase after legalization passes.