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Medical Marijuana: Make Our Roads Safer?

“drivers under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate how badly their skills are impaired. They drive faster and take more risks. In contrast, these studies show that drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to avoid risks.”

New study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths

Is this result surprising to you?  Do you think that we treat Marijuana fairly as a society compared to other “legal” drugs like alcohol and tobacco?  Marijuana is classified as a “Schedule 1” drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)…why is it classified as such?  Does that seem reasonable considering other drugs classified as Schedule 2 drugs? (research this point!)  What would the justification be for keeping marijuana illegal while keeping alcohol and tobacco legal and regulated?

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18 comments on “Medical Marijuana: Make Our Roads Safer?

  1. Joshua
    January 23, 2012

    Marijuana is not a safe drug. There is no such thing as a safe drug. That being said I do feel that it is not as bad as people make it out to be. Great deals of drivers are driving under the influence of marijuana every day. In The New York Times there is an article showing just how much people have stopped drinking and started smoking. One of the main reasons to why people who drive under the influence of marijuana tend to take more precautions is simply because it’s illegal. Marijuana is illegal and alcohol is not. With all that being said I do feel that we treat marijuana unfairly. Marijuana should me legal but, it should be illegal to drive under the influence, Just like alcohol. Because the best drivers are sober drivers. People who drive under the influence of marijuana do still cause deaths like another article in The New York Times shows.

  2. Jillian Wood (@JillianMWood)
    January 23, 2012

    I don’t find the result surprising, nor do I think marijuana is “treated fairly” as a society compared to other “legal” drugs such as caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. The Summary of Drugs and Schedules categorizes Schedule I as having no proven or acceptable medical use, whereas Schedule II drugs are being currently accepted for medical purposes. Marijuana was placed under Schedule I in 1972, but since then, it has been shown to help people with all kinds of ailments and diseases from glaucoma, AIDS, and MS to epilepsy and cancer. In fact, contrary to Schedule I, 16 of the 50 states, as well as Washington DC have legalized the use of medical marijuana. The benefits, however, are not widely recognized enough as a nation, and it is still perceived as an addictive substance with “high abuse potential.” Tobacco and alcohol are used and abused recreationally everyday, but unlike marijuana, they lack medical benefits. As Professor Daniel Rees said in the article, “Little is known about the effects of legalizing medical marijuana.” Until a brighter spotlight is shown on the good that can come from marijuana, people will continue to view this drug negatively as something that can only cause harm.

  3. D'Shayla Brown
    January 24, 2012

    This study to me is not surprising. I do not think we treat Marijuana fairly as a society compared to other legal drugs like alcohol because you never hear about someone getting in a car wreck because they where under the influence of marijuana instead you are more likely to hear about someone being under the influence of alcohol, but yet alcohol is still legal. The reason why Marijuana is a “schedule 1” drug is because most people believe Marijuana has no real medical use and also thinks its the gateway to hard drugs. I do not think that is reasonable considering other drugs classified as “Schedule 2” drugs. What are schedule 2 drugs ? . The government was able to catch alcohol before it became a billion dollar industry. Where as Marijuana the government would be to late because its already a billion dollar industry and it would be difficult to gain control of it when your not the key players.Marijuana is kept illegal because the pharmaceutical industry would be harmed, since pot can be used as a pain killer, appetite stimulant, and to treat other ailments. Sooner or later people would learn to grow there own Marijuana and government agency would not see a dime of tax revenue. Also its difficult to justify Marijuana staggering cost. I think Alcohol is legal because its tax revenues are huge.

  4. Roman Wright
    January 24, 2012

    Even tho i am not a marijuana smoker. I believe the goverment should legalize marijuana in the rest of states instead of just California. In the blog post it states, “driver under the influence of marijuana avoid risk”. According to this article 4% of the death in world are alcohol related.
    Alcohol causes you to be unaware of your action. As for marijuana there are no record death due to it. If the govenment is going to sell alcohol that causes so many death to people. Why not sell something that alot people want. That doesn’t cause any death. Think of the money the government is messing out on because they won’t do it.Tobacco even causes more deathes then marijuana. According to this article tobacco causes 443,000 deaths annually. Once again thats more death than HIV and AIDS. Yet our government continues to sell it to us. This article claims the the government made marijuana illegal because racism,fear, and much more. They also claim its a dangerous drug. Once again its hasn’t caused any death. Schedule 2 drugs can cause addiction to them. You can’t not become addicted to marijuana, but you can be addicted to alcohol and tobacco. Which the government sells to its people. The goverment needs to review their thoughts on marijuana and legalize it.

  5. Lara
    January 25, 2012

    After researching the other drugs listed in the schedule 1 controlled substances, I was surprised to find that marijuana is classified in the same group as LSD, Peyote, and MDMA (Ecstacy) while opium, cocaine, and CRACK are schedule 2. The classification of marijuana with the other schedule one narcotics is an extreme exaggeration of it’s danger. As proved in the article posted by Prof. Seitz, drinking has declined, as well as traffic related deaths; after the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. I’m an advocate for the legalization of it. Tax it like the government does on alcohol, because the effects can’t be as bad as drinking. How many traffic related deaths have you heard about from smoking and driving as opposed to drinking and driving?

  6. Christina Asik
    January 25, 2012

    The minute I read that marijuana reduces traffic deaths, I was baffled! I was surprised because I thought all drugs alter your decision making. I do not think that we treat Marijuana fairly as a society compared to other “legal” drugs like alcohol and tobacco because alcohol has caused more deaths than marijuana. For example, alcohol has caused liver failure while marijuana has been prescribed to treat patients with cancer and glaucoma. Under the CSA, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means that the federal government views marijuana as highly addictive and having no medical value. Doctors may not “prescribe” marijuana for medical use under federal law, though they can “recommend” its use under the First Amendment. It is not reasonable because marijuana is also known to help people in certain circumstances such as illnesses. The justification would be that marijuana has been proven to help people as opposed to alcohol which has been known to be harmful.
    ProsandCons

  7. Kathryn Lindsey
    January 25, 2012

    Marijuana should not be classified as a schedule 1 drug because of the guidelines for schedule 1 drugs as stated in the Controlled Substances act of 1970.The Act states that schedule 1 drugs are substances considered to be highly addictive and have no advantages for medical uses. This is just not true for marijuana. Marijuana is used for a lot of reasons for patients suffering. However, there needs to be some regulation because of the use of marijuana by teenagers. If there could be legislation to legalize marijuana as a whole then there could be regulations to ensure the safety of the product. Marijuana could also be taxed and may create jobs for many. Alcohol and tobacco are much more harmful and cause more problems than marijuana does accept for the drug trade which is growing because of the laws in place. this article

  8. wayskii
    January 26, 2012

    Wayne Smith
    January 26,2012

    Since the early seventies and eighties, marijuana has been seen as a social drug. Various’ movie’s depictions of characters smoking marijuana have shown the results to cause bad judgement, lack of reality,and being out of control. Today those movie myths and stories still linger on, but reality is that marijuana has been used for medical purposes. According to a story on CNN U.S., sixteen states use marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma and other illnesses. There are still some states petitioning the U.S. Department of Drug Enforcement to reclassify marijuana so that they can join the other sixteen states. The problem the United States has is trying to legalize marijuana, because it cannot be controlled or regulated like alcohol and tobacco. With the use of very little resources marijuana can easliy be grown in anyone’s backyard, and because of this there is a slim chance of it ever being legalized.

    ARTICLE

  9. Brittanie Griggs
    January 26, 2012

    Article
    No I am not surprised that drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to avoid risks than people who are under the influence of alcohol. No marijuana is not treated fairly by society when being compared to legal drugs because in my opinion alcohol and tobacco are alot more harmful to the body than marijuana is. Marijuana is considered to be a schedule 1 drug because in others’ opinion it is percieved to be addictive, and it has been associated with narcotics like herion in the past. Some people say that marijuana has no medical benefits but from what I hear from people who use medical marijuana it helps ease the mind and lowers the amount of stress that comes with everyday life.Schedule II drugs include opium and morphine, which are very powerful and deadly drugs if overused. Marijuana is as a schedule II drug and has no history of causing death by overdosage. So, no it is not reasonable to classify marijuana as schedule I and more harmful drugs are Schedule II or higher especially alcohol and tobacco, which is sold at nearly all major and local stores. To tell the truth, I don’t think there is any justification be for keeping marijuana illegal while keeping alcohol and tobacco legal and regulated because morally it makes no sense to keep marijuana illegal when the effects are less intense than those drugs.

  10. Madeline Arena (@arenamad)
    January 26, 2012

    This result is not very surprising to me. Alcohol lowers ones reactions times, even after just one drink. If you compare the effects of alcohol on ones body compared with Marijuana, you’ll notice that with the increase of alcohol in ones system the control over ones bodily functions decreases significantly. As a society I don’t think that Marijuana is treated fairly, especially when compared to legalized drugs such as alcohol and tobacco products. If you compare the effects of each side by side, Marijuana seems like a better option. Tobacco use causes cancer and contains highly addictive substance known as Nicotine. Alcohol is also addictive, over time destroys ones liver and other internal structures, and according to the CDC, is also one of the leading causes of roadside accidents and deaths (CDC.GOV). Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug under the CSA because it is considered at a high risk for abuse, with no apparent medical use by the USA (DEA). The difference between schedule 1 and schedule 2 drugs is that they both have a high risk/potential for abuse, but schedule one drugs have no apparent medical use in the USA. This doesn’t seem reasonable because some of the Schedule two drugs include highly addictive drugs such as cocaine and oxycotten but are accepted by the government to be administered as needed (DEA). Keeping Marijuana illegal can be justified based on the fact that it would be considered difficult to regulate and tax the importing and exporting of the plant, as well as the everyday use.

  11. Ciara
    January 26, 2012

    The result of marijuana usage in affect to driving is not surprising to me. Observing those around me people seem to concentrate more even though they may be an in lazy state of mind. I think marijuana is not treated fairly. Compared to all of the other legal, and illegal drugs it seems like one with less affects. It is bizarre that it is in a schedule 1 group, when people are prescribed marijuana for their health however, I’ve never heard of anyone being prescribed tobacco or alcohol for health issues. To be honest I see no justification for keeping marijuana illegal. In a lot of ways it should stay illegal, but come on its 2012 make it legal. I’ve seen so many people use this; even those you never would think would use any drugs. Even the high and mighty uses this. I feel like the government is scared, plus the court system will no longer be able to persecute people for using it besides the fact that they may have to have license to sell it. One reason I would go for marijuana being legal is the fact that I was watching a show and a lady who had never been convicted along with her husband were jailed, and lost their kids. I’m thinking like “Seriously” is it that serious that you would tear up a home. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone being so high that they become as violent as those who drink, using marijuana.Scheldule 1

  12. Patrick Nolan
    January 26, 2012

    I think marijuana is classified so harshly is because it IS the GATEWAY DRUG. People who have smoked pot are 104 times more likely to try cocaine. A schedule one drug will make you do a schedule two drug? Which is crazy because drugs that I have personally seen friends get hooked on or die from are things only found in schedule two or lower. Cocaine, Meth, Painkillers, all account for a significantly higher amount of deaths than marijuana’s zero amount of documented overdoses. I see no justification for keeping marijuana illegal while keeping alcohol and tobacco legal and regulated. I’ve always heard the government makes too much money off of marijuana being illegal. But who knows.

  13. Jin You (@J1nYou)
    January 26, 2012

    Legalizing marijuana because it reduces fatal car accidents? I think it is non-sense. There is a reduce in car accidents because the smokers might be smoking marijuana instead of drinking or using another type of drugs that makes them ‘high.’ What about others who does not smoke or drink? The link provided shows that people who is addicted to marijuana seeks for much more stronger drugs. As a long run, car accidents due to a drug usage will increase. On the other hand, as a medical purposes, such as Chemotherapy, I agree on legalizing marijuana.
    Pros and Cons
    Should Marijuana be Legalized under any Circumstances?

  14. Yemisi Johnson
    January 27, 2012

    I was completely surprised and shocked after reading the above article. The fact that marijuna would be a safer drug than alcohol completely and utterly surprises me. Without reading this article one would say or think that alcohol and marijuana would have the same, or similar effects on the brain after consumption. Yes, alcohol is a legal substance in the United States because you can just about get it anywhere you go, bars,reataurants just to name a few places. I feel like we treat marijuana fairly as a society compared to other legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco. We tend to misuse and abuse alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. You have thousands and thousands of people/patients lying to doctors about their medical conditions just to get a prescription of some kind. The article I found entitles “Marijuana Push in Colorado likens it to Alcohol” was very interesting, because here you have individuals in Colorado pushing to legalize marijuana like alcohol. Here on the front page you have marijuana sitting in the window of a store alongside alcohol. Someone else might argue that marijuana is a drug meant to heal ones illing condition. I say it is a narcotic, a hallucinogen, it impairs/clouds ones judgement. Marijuana vs. Alcohol

  15. selina swatson
    January 27, 2012

    Research shows that use of marijuana impairs the individual’s ability to function both physically and mentally. It is very shocking to me for the outcome of this research. In 1972 the United States congress place marijuana as a schedule 1 drug because “it has no accepted medical use”. Comparing to alcohol, alcohol has several positive health benefit and it is formed by the fermentation of substances easily metabolized by the body. Alcohol differs from marijuana in several crucial respects. First, marijuana is far more likely to cause addiction. Second, it is usually consumed to the point of intoxication. Third, it has no known general healthful properties, though it may have some palliative effects. Fourth, it is toxic and deleterious to health. Thus, while it is true that both alcohol and marijuana are less intoxicating than other mood-altering drugs, that is not to say that marijuana is especially similar to alcohol or that its use is healthy or even save because the health benefit of marijuana is jet to be proven.so I think it is fair for marijuana to be illegal till it is well evaluated.no to marijuana

  16. Cameron Degrafenread
    January 27, 2012

    I am less than shocked with the results of this article. I have seen people drive under the influence of alcohol, as well as people driving under the influence of alcohol. It is a night and day difference. Everyone has either seen a drunk driver, been in a vehicle in which the driver was intoxicated, or even (but hopefully not) driven drunk themselves. Most people do take more risks whether it is speeding, hard turns, “peeling out,” or weaving rapidly in and out of traffic. This is no big surprise there. I have also witnessed people who have driven after smoking weed. They seem to be a little more careful. They do not try to overtake other cars on the road and show off, nor do they feel the need to race everyone due to a falsely perceived attack one their ego. They even use their turning signals (which nobody I have ever rode with or witnessed ever uses). If you can picture the difference between someone driving drunk and someone driving after smoking marijuana, one seems to be much safer than the other. Also, when you look at the drugs that are considered Schedule 2 and then look at the Schedule 1 category, you may find it hard to make sense of everything. Oxycodone is a Schedule 2 drug. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, in the same category as ecstasy and LSD. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around all of this. I think that alcohol and tobacco are legal and marijuana is not because at the stage we are currently at in America (as far as the growing, buying and selling of marijuana that already occurs), it would be hard for the government to reap all of the profits through it’s legalization. Still, in the end, many people would benefit from it becoming legal. We are spending money on it’s prohibition and instead we could be making money by taxing it. Who knows, maybe the jobs it could create would be a good start at getting out of this hole we are in.

  17. stephanie nissani
    January 27, 2012

    I dont understand the reasons why the government prevents using merijuana for medical use, while allowing other substances, catagorized in “schedule 2” to be used for medical use. It is ironic to let other drugs that contain cocaine, morphine, oxycodone and other addictive substances in hospitals, while not allowing a substance such as merijuana, that perhaps helps with cancer, pain and A.D.D be in use. Is it money issues? medical use . I believe that this is a money issue to the gorvernment since they dont want to compete with other merijuana dealers around the world. It’s nothing but a competition for them and they know they cannot beat the dealers around the world and inside the U.S. There should be no justification for keeping marijuana illegeal while keeping alcohol and tobacco legal and regulated.

  18. Adithya Kasthurirengan
    January 31, 2012

    I personally do not think that medical marijuana is anywhere close to being as damaging as alcohol. According to a study, an entire bottle of alcohol can kill a person depending on their tolerance ( most likely to KILL them ) but a person would need to smoke 3000 or more joints in one sitting to slightly harm their lungs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 20,687 “alcohol-induced deaths” in comparison to 4 marijuana related deaths in the year 2003. Another study concluded that alcohol use contributes to aggressive behavior and acts of violence, whereas marijuana use reduces the likelihood of violent behavior. Therefore, I do not understand why a lot of Americans and the U.S government consider marijuana as being such a dangerous drug or more of a ‘ gateway ‘ drug. It is merely a plant, that when smoked,causes a few side-effects, namely, sleepy, hungry and happy. DWI vs DW-High

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