The Chainlink

Yesterday was the second time in recent weeks I had the dubious pleasure of finding myself close to a car at a red light with the unmistakably pungent smell of weed wafting out of the car's windows. OK, in normal circumstances smoking marijuana should be no big deal, but I would say that being under the influence while driving is every bit as dangerous, if not more, as driving under the influence of alcohol. And as for smoking it while actually driving (yesterday I actually saw the driver pass the spliff to his passenger)? I mean, WTF?

My first reaction in both cases was to call the cops, but I carry my cellphone in my backpack and yesterday I was running late. So the questions are: 

1. If I did call the cops, would they pursue the issue? I memorized the license plate number the second time.

2. Do other chainlinkers encounter similar situations?

3. What do other chainlinkers think about the drugs and driving issue?

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before I was a bicyclist in chicago, I was a motorist in rural connecticut.  I grew up out there with the best stoner no-goodums money can buy.  All my friends and I used to do was drive along the back roads of town smoking up.  Of course, the only way we had to get home was to drive.  I'm not advocating the use of marijuana while driving, but we never had an accident or anything remotely dangerous happen to us.  I think in a rural low-traffic intensity setting, being high off marijuana is not as dangerous as being drunk.  I don't think these two intoxicants produce similar effects.  If anything, pot usually makes people paranoid and in my experience has caused the driver to drive more slowly than normal.  Something like, "oh man, I'm only going 30?!".  whereas, being drunk WILL make you believe you're invincible.  

 I believe that in a high-traffic intensity setting such as the middle of chicago would not be a smart idea because there's too much for the driver to pay attention to.  A bland, straight, uninhabited country road is one thing, but a congested city with every intersection a possibility for disaster?  Why not just wait until you get where you're going? or, why not have it with your coffee in the morning before you leave the house?  Could you stand to be sober for more than 15 minutes?  And I never not run into a squad car when I leave the house, a cop could so easily smell it.

I think if you had called the cops they probably wouldn't have pursued it.  Unless you happened to know if they were carrying a substantial amount the CPD probably wouldn't have been able to do anything.  If all those guys had was one spliff, then they could've easily disposed of it before a cop actually got to them.  I know it sucks to have to think about people operating 4,000 lb vehicles carelessly, and that the next time they turn the treble all the way up on their stereo it could mean your life.  but really, its impossible to stop people from doing stupid things.  sad story.          

1. If I did call the cops, would they pursue the issue?

Per the 911 system? Not a chance.  If you saw a cop and asked for assistance, maybe.

2. Do other chainlinkers encounter similar situations?

Constantly.  High on weed is preferable to drunk or strung out on crack- the driver is most likely to drive too slow, and stop for no reason.

I have always wanted Mythbusters to do a show on the effects of Alcohol, cell phone use AND marijuana while driving. When they did a show on just the cell phone and drinking, it was clearly proven that being on the phone is just as bad if not worse than being drunk. Unfortunately there is no way they will ever test this for the public.

 

Everyone takes to a drug differently as well. Some people are very calm and collected when drunk while others turn into raging retarded assholes. I will say I have never seen anyone get kicked out of a bar for being stoned. Now drunk on the other hand................

 

And sadly it all really comes down to how good of a driver are you. if you are a super laid back driver that is always worried about the safety of others then you could probably be wasted on whatever and still drive better than a majority of others. You drive like a raging asshole who is obviously the most important person on the road, well guess what will happen on weeed and/or alcomahol. And it's these f-tards that ruin it for the rest of us when laws telling people they can't do stuff are created. 

'Well I used to do it all the time and nothing bad happened' is not viable reasoning for it not being dangerous to drive stoned; the only thing it expresses is your luck and the remoteness of where you were driving.

 

This should not be a weed/booze debate either; different folks handle their vices in different ways so there is no standard there.  The difference in the effects specific effects of the two is moot here.  What does matter is the effect of both that no one here can deny: The impairment of function.  No matter how you slice it, and no matter how much better you think your favorite chemical is safe as can be, both alcohol, weed and pretty much any other drug, impair your judgment and ability to function.  Weed can be better than alcohol for some and worse for others when it comes to level of impairment and reaction times but I think we can all agree that does impair your thinking and reactions when under the influence which means it is a bad idea, in my opinion, to drive when your stoned.  Is it as bad as being drunk?  I dunno, that depends on the amounts of both and the person under the influence; but is it really worth the risk?

 

Those of you who think weed does not impair the senses I will sit down and drink beers while you smoke and we can preform skill tests to see what the reality of it is...  Actually that sounds like fun!

A cell phone vs weed episode would be hilarious. 

Ryan L said:

I have always wanted Mythbusters to do a show on the effects of Alcohol, cell phone use AND marijuana while driving. When they did a show on just the cell phone and drinking, it was clearly proven that being on the phone is just as bad if not worse than being drunk. Unfortunately there is no way they will ever test this for the public.

 

Everyone takes to a drug differently as well. Some people are very calm and collected when drunk while others turn into raging retarded assholes. I will say I have never seen anyone get kicked out of a bar for being stoned. Now drunk on the other hand................

 

And sadly it all really comes down to how good of a driver are you. if you are a super laid back driver that is always worried about the safety of others then you could probably be wasted on whatever and still drive better than a majority of others. You drive like a raging asshole who is obviously the most important person on the road, well guess what will happen on weeed and/or alcomahol. And it's these f-tards that ruin it for the rest of us when laws telling people they can't do stuff are created. 

I smell an opportunity for a hilariously awesome party. Time and location to be determined. BYOW. Wizard Staff Vs Wizard Pipe?

 

........and before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I certainly don't condone doing anything that would impair driving. I just find it sad how some people might drive better impaired than others dead sober. 


notoriousDUG said:

Those of you who think weed does not impair the senses I will sit down and drink beers while you smoke and we can preform skill tests to see what the reality of it is...  Actually that sounds like fun!

I saw someone smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee the other day -that guy was probably more impaired than someone taking a few hits off a J.

 

If people out there think that pot so seriously impairs one's ability I'd like to introduce you to some AA-class expert Moto-X and Enduro racers that can negotiate broken territory faster than most people could even imagine totally high off their asses and continue doing it for hours on end without a mishap.

 

Alcohol?  No way in hell.  Not only do your reactions get messed up but so does your decision-making abilities and sense of self-preservation.   But pot?  their is so much drug-war/war-on-freedon BS "official" government disinformation about marijuana in order to keep the prohibition industry perpetually-funded that everything people think they know about the drug is pretty much wrong.

I would have asked him to pass it. On another note, yes you perhaps should have called the police. Even if they didn't do anything if it is reported several times they are more likely to attend to the matter in one way or another.
I'll take you up on this challenge...

notoriousDUG said:

Those of you who think weed does not impair the senses I will sit down and drink beers while you smoke and we can preform skill tests to see what the reality of it is...  Actually that sounds like fun!

Yep, everyone's body handles it a little differently.  I'd think that it would affect reflexes and response times somewhat, which might be a problem in urban traffic situations.  Again, it would depend on the person.  If you stopped a cop on the street about this, some would probably respond and others wouldn't.

notoriousDUG said:

'Well I used to do it all the time and nothing bad happened' is not viable reasoning for it not being dangerous to drive stoned; the only thing it expresses is your luck and the remoteness of where you were driving.

 

This should not be a weed/booze debate either; different folks handle their vices in different ways so there is no standard there.  The difference in the effects specific effects of the two is moot here.  What does matter is the effect of both that no one here can deny: The impairment of function.  No matter how you slice it, and no matter how much better you think your favorite chemical is safe as can be, both alcohol, weed and pretty much any other drug, impair your judgment and ability to function.  Weed can be better than alcohol for some and worse for others when it comes to level of impairment and reaction times but I think we can all agree that does impair your thinking and reactions when under the influence which means it is a bad idea, in my opinion, to drive when your stoned.  Is it as bad as being drunk?  I dunno, that depends on the amounts of both and the person under the influence; but is it really worth the risk?

 

Those of you who think weed does not impair the senses I will sit down and drink beers while you smoke and we can preform skill tests to see what the reality of it is...  Actually that sounds like fun!

Really? You don't think the cops would do anything about someone smoking weed and driving? What about reporting drunk drivers?

H3N3 said:

1. If I did call the cops, would they pursue the issue?

Per the 911 system? Not a chance.  If you saw a cop and asked for assistance, maybe.

2. Do other chainlinkers encounter similar situations?

Constantly.  High on weed is preferable to drunk or strung out on crack- the driver is most likely to drive too slow, and stop for no reason.

I've noticed the same aroma coming from cars alongside at stop-lights. I usually smile and give them enough of a head-start so that I miss any accident that they may get in.

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