Last year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would change the way it would prosecute low level drug offenders on possession charges. Essentially, the change was based on an acknowledgement that the vaunted “War on Drugs” that has been waged since the 1980’s and how it has not necessarily worked. Even more concerning, the continuous jailing of drug offenders has not only been tremendously expensive, it has had an adverse effect on the families of poor and minority offenders.
Traffic stops can be unpleasant, that part is obvious. What isn’t obvious is what you can and can’t say to stay out of trouble when the officer asks you questions about your whereabouts, whether you have been drinking, or whether you have broken the law in other ways. Indeed, most people are not stopped often enough to know how to deal with the police in polite, productive and protective manner.
In our last post, we highlighted the study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that essentially dispelled the myth that drivers under the influence of marijuana are substantially more dangerous than the same people who may be under the influence of alcohol. Basically, there was no statistical increase in risk of a crash associated with marijuana use compared to other drugs, while the risk of an accident caused by alcohol was nearly seven times as high.
With such a widespread cultural attitude against drunk driving, it would be assumed that the public would be completely against driving while under the influence of marijuana. The notion would be that if alcohol would impair one’s judgment and cause a particular safety hazard, marijuana would be significantly more dangerous and would be brutal on the general public.