Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel

Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel
by JBS President John F. McManus

In 1974, a U.S. Senate panel issued a document entitled “Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and Its Impact on United States Security.” In 1979, New York University and the American Council on Marijuana sponsored a Conference entitled “Marijuana: Biomedical Effects and Social Implications.” Conclusions published in each of these reports strongly warn about the use of marijuana and should have been enough to keep anyone in America away from it.

Expert testimony given in these studies came from an array of highly qualified and widely dispersed scientists including Dr. Gabriel Nahas (Columbia University), W.D.M. Paton (Oxford University), Dr. Robert Heath (Tulane University), Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Julius Axelrod (National Institute of Mental Health), Dr. Alexander Jacubovic (University of British Columbia), Dr. Reese T. Jones (California Medical School), and several others who have studied what marijuana use does to human beings.

What they found includes the following:

1. Cell production harmed.
2. Damage to the brain.
3. Reproductive system impaired.
4. Diseases of throat and lungs prevalent.
5. Builds up in the body.
6. Impaired mental function.
7. Leads to use of even stronger drugs.

All of this has been confirmed in a report available on an undated Harvard University web site entitled “The Medical Uses of Marijuana.” It cites the work of Dr. Donald P. Taskin and discusses marijuana’s use causing various respiratory illnesses, mental impairment, learning deficiencies, and more. Regarding the medical use of marijuana, the report states that, while easing pain for some who are already ill, it “can and does have a very serious effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits resulting from AIDS” and “can accelerate the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS.” In addition, a 2012 statement issued by the American Lung Association claims: “Marijuana use is not only associated with adverse physical effects, but also mental, emotional and behavioral changes.”

Should we be nervous if the mechanic who services an airplane in which we are about to travel is a marijuana smoker? Or the pilot? How about a doctor who is about to operate on you? Or a school bus driver who picks up the children day after day? How many auto accidents can be traced to marijuana use? How many marijuana users have graduated to stronger and even more dangerous drugs and are finding themselves in a life of addiction and crime to support the more expensive habit?

A common argument favoring marijuana use is that it is no more dangerous than drinking alcoholic beverages. In a recent interview, President Obama made such a claim: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” That’s hogwash – dangerous hogwash. Without appearing to make a case for drinking, we believe the differences between imbibing booze and smoking pot are quite different. A heavy drinker will be incapacitated for a matter of hours while smoking “pot” stays with a user who will still be subject to its effects long after the telltale “high” is no longer noticeable. Sadly, many users of marijuana combine smoking it with drinking and become doubly dangerous behind the wheel.

Yet, we know that laws against marijuana use have never been very effective. The penalty for possession of marijuana has even become the equivalent of being given a parking ticket. And availability of the substance has been spurred by new laws that have legalized the sale and distribution of the substance in the states of Washington and Colorado. Users aren’t being told what they are doing to themselves – and potentially others. It isn’t very smart to go along with the trend. In fact, it’s not only stupid; it’s self- destructing.

Anyone indulging in marijuana needs to know what many doctors have concluded. Laws haven’t stopped the spread and probably never will. Self-preservation should stop and even reverse the trend.

The JBS strives to educate individuals on the virtues of morality and how our Founding Fathers recognized that a free society could not long survive without a moral citizenry. This Choose Morality action page provides resources for learning more about the relationship between morality and freedom, then offers actions that can be taken to restore both.


5 Comments on “Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel”

  1. “Laws haven’t stopped the spread and probably never will. Self-preservation should stop and even reverse the trend.”
    So repeal the “laws” and educate people about the dangers, and quit pretending that government has the authority to punish people for choosing to consume harmful substances. And stop peddling tendentious agitprop generated in support of the UN-mandated global war on narcotics.

    Like

  2. Glenn Smith says:

    Now Marijuana users will be behind the wheel? So no one has ever driven under the influence of marijuana, but once it’s legalized they will? Riiiiight.

    Like

  3. Jack Francis says:

    Careful John, you’re sounding a bit like the do-gooders saving me from Super Big Gulps and myself.

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  4. M. Foust says:

    Go ahead, smoke cigarettes until your lungs are eaten up by cancer. Go ahead, smoke pot until your brain is fried. You are free to do this — well free as of right now. However, what right do you have to get behind the wheel and risk killing or maiming other innocent people?

    Where is the auto insurance industry on this? We know where they stand on drunk drivers and where they stand on distracted drivers. Where is the health insurance industry on this? Years and years of education on the evils of cigarette smoking, only to allow smoking of marijuana?

    And why is this issue coming up now — pandering to yet another group of potential voters? Could this group be larger or more important than the Hispanic or gay lobby? Another source of taxation?

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    • Smoking anything is a profoundly bad idea, but marijuana isn’t going to fry anybody’s brain, something well understood by everybody who doesn’t subscribe to the “Reefer Madness”/Harry Anslinger “Marijuana will turn our children Communist” school of hyperventilating alarmism.

      The chief health danger posed by marijuana is the threat posed by the psychotically violent people in government-issued costumes who will kick down your door, hurl flash-bang grenades into your living room, and beat you into blood pudding in order to enforce un-constitutional laws against possessing or using the substance.

      The question isn’t whether government should “allow” people to use pot, or tobacco, or alcohol, or sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, or any of countless harmful substances; the question is by what supposed authority does it FORBID people to do so? The Constitution had to be amended to facilitate alcohol prohibition; this wasn’t done when Nixon declared “war” on drug use more than forty years ago.

      This issue is coming up now because a large percentage of the population — including many like myself who abstain entirely from all mood-altering substances (except exercise-generated endorphins, which are natural) — understand that drug prohibition is an exercise in criminal barbarism that must end.

      As to the morality of marijuana use:: In what sense is it more immoral to consume marijuana than it is to consume alcohol, which is at least as addictive and is demonstrably more harmful? The Bible identifies drunkenness as a sin, but doesn’t forbid alcohol consumption. Jesus pointedly taught that it is what comes out of the mouth, rather than what goes in, that defiles a man. It was the Pharisees who were in the habit of putting “hedges” around the law and auditing the righteousness of others on the basis of their superior standards, and there’s more than a hint of that attitude in the essay above.

      Like


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