Tone Deaf

A recent hearing before the House Transportation Committee has provided another opportunity for House leaders to demonstrate their arrogance and ignorance of statistics and scientific fact.  The offending leader this time is Cindy Evans (the House Majority Floor Leader), who introduced a resolution (HCR97):

to conduct a study to establish a reliable scientific threshold and testing protocol for determining whether a person cannot safely operate a motor vehicle due to being under the influence of marijuana

share1The answer already exists, and is shockingly similar to alcohol: none.

Coming from a liberal Democrat, this resolution is oddly surprising.  Their public relations campaign of smoke and mirrors wants the public to believe that alcohol is worse than marijuana.  One would think they would brush up on the science of alcohol before making such an absurd comparison.  Even moreso, that they would be up-to-speed on what we know about how alcohol impairs the ability to drive.

The National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA) has made it clear that despite any legally binding threshold, any amount of alcohol is enough to impair driving.  You’ve seen the ad and you know the slogan “Buzzed driving is drunk driving“.  A story from Tuscon News Now (carried by Hawaii News Now) notes:

Drinking and driving can affect everyone but those most at risk are men 21 to 34 years old.

This group often falls into three categories.

  • People who drink and drive yet don’t consider themselves to be hazards on the roadways or a drunk driver.
  • Well-meaning “Average Joes” who don’t mean any harm but continue to drink and drive.
  • People who either feel invincible or just unrealistically optimistic about the control they have over their lives.

The Wednesday hearing before the House Transportation Committee is not the first time lawmakers have had trouble with the science of impaired driving.  Councilman Ron Menor was arrested for driving under the influence, and offense that cost him his senate seat.  Former deputy prosecutor and former Vice Speaker (of the House) Jon Riki Karamatsu was arrested for driving under the influence not once, but twice.  The NHSTA warning should really read:

Drinking and driving can affect everyone but those most at risk are men 21 to 34 years old lawmakers.

They don’t consider themselves to be hazards on the roadways, they are “well meaning Average Joes” or they “feel invincible or just unrealistically optimistic about the control they have over their lives”.

When the science about impaired driving is so amazingly clear, one is left to ask: What’s the deal with HCR97?

It’s an election year.

The original law permitting the use of medical marijuana and the most recent law establishing medical marijuana dispensaries did not set a legal threshold for impaired driving.  There is a legal threshold for alcohol, but no such threshold for marijuana (medical or otherwise).  The sponsors of HCR97

EVANS, BELATTI, CACHOLA, CHOY, CREAGAN, DECOITE, KOBAYASHI, LOWEN, LUKE, MORIKAWA, NISHIMOTO, ONISHI, SOUKI, TSUJI, YAMASHITA, San Buenaventura

have one thing in common – they all voted up on the medical marijuana bill.  It was not based on science, and did nothing to protect the public against marijuana-addled drivers.

Liberal democrats are not concerned with the science – it already exists.  They already have enough science to establish a legal threshold of “zero” for marijuana-impaired driving and are concerned with their re-election. They are hoping to negotiate the science behind marijuana and hoping for a threshold above zero for marijuana-impaired driving.  It would look really bad if marijuana users would have to forfeit their driving privileges to support their habit.

The “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality has liberal Democrats always playing catch up – whether it is medical marijuana, medical marijuana dispensaries or even same sex marriage.  Deeper analysis shows that liberal Democrats are not in touch with the public and prefer to pander to minority constituencies while jeopardizing public safety.  They are always two steps behind, and always having to cover themselves for their shoddy workmanship.

Rather than doing it right the first time, they are fixing it later.  For once, they made good on their promise.

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