Smoke a Joint, Get Arrested for Drugged Driving a Week Later

Over at The Huffington Post, Russ Belville notes that the Obama administration's new drug control strategy urges states to adopt "per se" laws for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID):

Fifteen states have passed laws clarifying that the presence of any illegal drug in a driver's body is per se evidence of impaired driving. ONDCP [the Office of National Drug Control Policy] will work to expand the use of this standard to other states and explore other ways to increase the enforcement of existing DUID laws.

Under these laws, a driver who has marijuana metabolites in his urine is automatically considered impaired, even though he probably isn't. Because marijuana metabolites can be detected in urine long after the drug's effects have worn off (up to two weeks for occasional users, months for frequent users), a "zero tolerance" DUID standard punishes pot smokers who have not harmed or endangered anyone. It is a way of imposing an extra punishment for marijuana use under the guise of traffic safety, sending unimpaired drivers to jail as public menaces because they smoked pot days or weeks before getting behind the wheel. It's like arresting someone for drunk driving on a Wednesday because he drank a few beers the previous Saturday. And it is completely unnecessary, since a standard based on THC in the blood (analogous to the standard for DUI) would be a much better indicator of impairment. In fact, since "the presence of metabolites for THC tells you the body has already broken down the THC," Belville says, "you could actually call a urine screening for metabolites a non-impairment test!" This is exactly the sort of mindlessly draconian policy that a president with any interest in dialing back the war in drugs would avoid.

I explained the problems with "per se" DUID laws in a 2006 column.

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  • The Other Kevin||

    Great, lets put even MORE people into prison for nonviolent crimes that hurt nobody. Just awesome.

  • ||

    FUCK YEAH!

  • ||

    parasite

  • Me||

    Actually it's not likely that people would go to jail for this. Rather that they'll receive hefty fines.

  • mojo||

    Yeah, much better if they ar ejsut ruined financially and can then turn with abandon to real crime.

  • JB||

    Obama is such a piece of shit.

  • val||

    Is there any policy what so ever that Obama handled better than the previous administration? Or atleast any promise that made him look better that he kept? Sheesh, what a douche.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Yes: Bush never game a damn about the organic garden.

    'Course, I suppose Michelle really gets the credit there...

  • ||

    In fact, since "the presence of metabolites for THC tells you the body has already broken down the THC," Belville says, "you could actually call a urine screening for metabolites a non-impairment test!"

    ORLY?

  • ||

    This is exactly the sort of mindlessly draconian policy that a president with any interest in dialing back the war in drugs would avoid.

    We'll see if one is ever elected. More power for the state seems to be the unifying theme of every Obama policy.

  • ||

    ^ This ^

  • ||

    Not like the good old days under Bush when you could torture an American citizen like Jose Padilla, toss him into prison for 4 years and drive him insane, right?

  • ||

    What is crazy is that they gave him drugs too. LSD and Sodium Pentythol(sp).

  • ||

    Bob, the good old days are still with us under the Obama administration. This administration, despite it's rhetoric, has continued to propagate the same sort of abuses as the Bush admin.
    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....ssinations

  • Nipplemancer||

    The bone I smoked last night can get me a DUI today? Someone is getting fucked and it looks like its going to be me.

  • ||

    We care not of your sex life.

  • Nipplemancer||

    My neckbeard is my sexiest feature.

  • The Gobbler||

    I weep for your sex partners.

  • ||

    His sex partners also weep.

  • Sudden||

    Kyle Orton? Is that you?

  • ||

    There will be no disproportionate numbers of blacks and hispanics snared by these laws because LEOs are color blind.

    Ah hell, even trolls wouldn't bother to assert that kind of bullshit.

  • peachy||

    Oh, dude, you woefully underestimate our trolls. If we can attract people who believe Sheriff Joe is a swell guy, we can attract people who believe anything.

  • The Gobbler||

    "There will be no disproportionate numbers of blacks and hispanics snared by these laws because LEOs are color blind."

    Just embracing diversity.

  • x,y||

    Peter Bagge - Obama

    Ronald Bailey - Obama

    Tim Cavanaugh - Obama

    Steve Chapman - Obama

    David Weigel* - Obama

    *H&R RIP

    Thanks, guys.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'd love to hear just one mea culpa from an H&R editor who voted for this atrocity.

  • Ska||

    No shit dude.

  • x,y||

    Ronald Bailey: "The Republicans must be punished and punished hard."

    Bailey, I dare you to show your smug face on this thread.

  • ||

    I did and still agree that the GOP needed to be punished and punished hard. Do you honestly think John McCain's drug policy would be any better?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    They could have not voted or voted for Barr.

  • LAPD||

    or voted for Barr

    I did.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Fuck. Wrong handle.

    or voted for Barr

    I did.

  • ||

    Yeah exactly. It's a little silly to criticize people for their choice between two poisons.

  • x,y||

    If you had asked me a year ago I would have said "no." Now I'm not so sure.

    Not that it's relevant, because your choice is a false one. I could have voted for Barr, wrote someone in, or not voted at all. The point is that THESE GUYS VOTED FOR OBAMA. There's nothing wrong with calling them out, especially when common sense says he wasn't likely to swing the pendelum in the right direction anyway.

  • ||

    Voting for McCain or Obama was a shit sandwich, voting for Barr would have been like mayo on a shit sandwich.

  • ||

    +1

  • Sudden||

    Mayo would certainly make the shit taste a little more appealing.

  • PIP||

    Easy Shit Sandwiches

    6 large firm stools
    1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
    Salt and pepper
    A tiny squeeze of lemon juice
    2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
    1/2 bunch chives, chopped
    2 small handfuls of lettuce
    8 slices of whole grain bread, toasted

    Place stools in a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, now mash with a fork. Don't overdo it, you want the stool mixture to have some texture. If you need to add a bit more mayo to moisten up the mixture a bit, go for it a bit at a time.
    Stir in the celery and chives. Taste, and adjust the seasoning - adding more salt and pepper if needed.
    To assemble each stool salad sandwich: place a bit of lettuce on a piece of toast, top with the stool salad mixture, and finish by creating a sandwich with a second piece of toast.

  • Chicken George||

    THESE GUYS VOTED FOR OBAMA.

    And that made fuck-all of difference in the outcome of the election. It wouldn't matter if they voted for Raptor Jesus, Obama would still be president.

  • Democrat||

    But I thought Obama was Raptor Jesus...

  • ||

    Who is this Raptor Jesus of which you speak, he sounds like someone I should be worshipping?

  • x,y||

    You're missing the larger point. It's not that this policy sucks or that a few different (or no) votes in the 2008 election would have changed the way things are. It's that these guys openly -- and I would say materially -- suppported Obama. They deserve every ounce of criticism coming their way when their agent misbehaves.

  • Ted S.||

    How about suggesting that both the Republicans and Democrats must be punished and punished hard?

  • ||

    Ric Keller vs. Alan Grayson beautifully illustrates your point. They both are awful individuals.

  • Barack HUSSEIN Obama||

    Ric Keller calls for jailing his political opponents? Republicans proposed forcing states to treat a positive urine test as DUID?
    I hope you choke on all that progressive DemocRAT cock you suck Lama

  • ||

    OK the Reps. had fucked up so we'll punish them by electing Dems, including the Prez. Then in four or eight years, the Dems will have fucked things up more, so we'll punish them by electing Reps. After the Reps. fuck things up even more we'll throw them out and elect Dems., who will still fuck up and we'll punish them . . .

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over agian and expecting a different result.

  • ||

    a) That's a pretty crappy definition of insanity. There is plenty of "insane" behavior that has nothing to do with an inability to propose new hypotheses.

    b) I suppose for you it would be better to keep whatever set of bums are in office at the moment? I mean, I get what you're saying, but what's the alternative?

  • Zero Mandate||

    How about next election day people go to their precinct and just stand there. No voting, mass non-participation.

    Just because The Party serves up a shit sandwich doesn't mean we have to take a bite, even if it comes with mayo.

  • d.eris||

    Vote for candidates who are superior to the puppets of the Democratic-Republican global warfare and corporate welfare state. They exist. They're called: independents, Libertarians, Greens, etc.

  • TP||

    Yeah, the person that said that should stick to Relativity and Quantum Physics.

    Don't quit your day job, Al.

  • ||

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over agian and expecting a different result.

    Doesn't the same argument apply just as well (or as poorly) to those who continue to vote for a third party, or don't vote, when that doesn't change anything either?

    Politicians do actually pay attention to what causes them to lose their seats.

  • ||

    That's what you get when the only two parties you've got that can hold office are the Insane Party and the Psychotic Party

  • x,y||

    I will add that you can agree with Bailey's statement that "the Republicans must be punished and punished hard" without also voting for Obama. I'm actually suprised that someone as generally smart as Bailey couldn't come up with a better pretext for voting for the man he wanted to vote for.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh goody, the formation of the libertarian Firing Squad part 27,256. Are not many of you the ones who go on about how you do not vote? And how one vote does not matter anyway? If you did not vote, this is just as much your fault, so stuff it.

  • x,y||

    If you did not vote, this is just as much your fault

    Show your work.

  • Zeb||

    No. If you did not vote, it is only half as much your fault (assuming you would have voted for Obama or McCain).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I came to a conclusion. Those who continue to vote for either Republicans or Democrats as an "anti" vote (I'm voting for Team Red so Team Blue doesn't win because that's worse) is part of the problem. Voting for anything other than what my conscience dictates is part of the problem. I no longer wanted to be part of the problem.

  • ||

    Yeah, pile on, I mean they left such an obviously better choice off their ballots.

  • ||

    McCain was obviously better. I say this because while McCain was a "shit sandwich," I'm having trouble finding anything where Obama is even slightly better than McCain, and I can at least find some things (far from all) where McCain would be better.

    I mean, while thinking that Obama would be worse, I at least thought that he might de-emphasize the drug war. Hmm, maybe he's de-emphasizing the porn war?

    Saying that they're both terrible, and both too terrible to vote for is fine. But I stand by my position that there was no reason for libertarians to actually prefer Obama, particularly when it was obvious Congress was going to be so heavily Democratic.

  • Sudden||

    3. Is this the most important election in your lifetime? It is the most important election since 2006, and maybe even 2004. Elections are vastly overrated as a means for restraining government abuses. The more people who believe that the 2008 election will end the abuses of the Bush era, the easier it will be for the next president to perpetuate Bush's noxious principles and precedents.

    4. What will you miss about the Bush administration? If Obama wins, a torrent of Washington conservatives will suddenly proclaim that the federal government poses a dire threat to our rights and liberties. I will miss the honest conservatism of the GWB era - when many conservatives stopped pretending to give a damn about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and denounced as traitors anyone who did not kowtow to the Commander-in-Chief.

    Bovard was a prophet. I should start a religion dedicated to his wisdom.

  • ||

    You know what else they could do? They could subpoena your credit card records, and if they find a charge from an establishment which serves alcohol, they could charge you with drunk driving.

  • ¢||

    Thanks, guys.

    Whitey gotta do what he gotta do.

    Anyway, I read the whole thing again.

    THE STUPID IT BURNS again.

  • Zeb||

    There is also the little problem that there is little evidence that actually being under the influence of cannabis negatively affects driving ability in experienced consumers. So they are two steps removed from being reasonable, they haven't shown either that (1) being stoned is a significant risk to other people on the road, or that (2) assuming (1) is true, that a blood test for THC metabolites will indicate increased risk.

  • Ska||

    I will say that one time I waited for a stop sign to turn green (and I had a passenger, too). But I've never been in or caused an accident.

  • BeavisAndButthead||

    Too funny!

  • ||

    No way this doesn't get challenged in court. It could be a class-action suit comprised of about 20 million people.

  • Hugh Akston||

    People who would be smeared as shiftless potheads who are endangering teh children.

    No, expect this to pass into permanent policy unchallenged.

  • ||

    Yeah it seems to have had little to no trouble becoming law in any state that's tried it. Fuckers.

  • Paul||

    Law enforcement needs more tools.

  • ||

    Law enforcement seems to be staffed almost entirely with tools now.

  • Tango Mike||

    We've had this in PA for a number of years already.

  • ||

    i've read the NHTSA studies on how various substances affect driving. cocaine for instance actually IMPROVES driving up to a certain level. (u shaped dose response curve). not surprising, since it's a stimulant.

    mj does, to some extent, diminish fine motor control and other factors, but unlike alcohol doesn't cause overconfidence in ability and recklessness, etc. - thus, the classic driving 30 in a 45 mph zone while stoned type behavior.

    regardless, since driving isn't a "right" but a privilege, there is little in the way of constitutional challenge to these types of laws ASSUMING that the underlying per se substances are illegal. however, in states that are medical mj states, i would think this line of attack might work. you are essentially prohibiting people who use medical mj from driving at all and that's not going to fly, or at least should't

  • dfd||

    "since driving isn't a "right" but a privilege,"

    Bullshit. Mindless repeating of this trite little phrase doesn't make it any more meaningful. It's not the government's business to be handing out privileges. It can enforce reasonable restrictions to protect the public but it shouldn't be able to arbitrarily prevent people from engaging in basic aspects of life as if those are mere "privileges" to be granted or withheld at the whim of your master.

  • ||

    Amen. It's basic mobility on the roads that we pay for. Next it will be a fucking privilege to breath the air. Did I come across as, irritated?

  • ||

    Our brilliant state legislature here in GA passed such a law years ago. The state Supreme Court, in a fit of sanity, declared it unconstitutional because it did not criminalize driving with traces of THC from legally prescribed Marinol in one's blood. The court said there was no rational basis for decreeing that a non impaired driver with traces of illegal pot in his body was any more dangerous than a non impaired driver with traces of legal pot in his body.

  • ||

    Well, you know, OK, so Obama is turning out to be a piece of shit.

  • Turning?||

    You sound like you expected something different and that he still may not turn into shit. What are you saying?

  • ||

    I figured that he couldn't be worse than Bush, and so far he isn't. But damn if he isn't trying really hard to be terrible.

  • Barack HUSSEIN Obama||

    Just a little gag their Lamer, take it DEEPER

  • ||

    Please be coherent. Regards, Lamar.

  • ||

    What is more surprising: the Presidential Suit turning out to be a garden-variety statist tyrant, or that people are surprised by this?

  • ||

    People thought he would be a weak, sniffling loser his first two years, then suffer a humiliating GOP comeback (because the GOP learned its lesson), only to have a moderately, if scandal plagued, successful 6 more years in office.

  • Rhywun||

    Goddamn I miss the 90's.

  • ||

    People clearly misread the size of that incoming majority. No President is a "weak, sniffling loser" when his party has its largest majority in generations.

  • Sudden||

    The most coherent case I ever heard for voting for McCain was seperation of powers and having a 'pub to check a dem congress. That said, McCain might've been the worst poster boy for that since he dearly loved working with Dems while in the Senate.

  • ||

    But Congress can change faster than the presidency.

  • ||

    And, just for the hell of it:

    Dear Michelle-

    Your ass is five times as wide as mine. Shut the fuck up.

    thx

  • ||

    This comment wins the day.

  • ||

    This comment was idiotic and your praise of more so.

  • ||

    Also reminds me of one of my favorite rap lyrics from the inimitable Prince Paul

    What I need is some peace of mind/
    and a fine dime with an o-bese behind/
    Some sticky green lime and a bottle of wine/
    So I can glide in my ride/ with the seats reclined

  • alan||

    This comment wins my heart.

  • Anonymous Backstabber||

    So what happens to people in California who legally use "medicinal" marijuana? They are unable to drive for days afterward?

  • Ska||

    Months more likely....

  • Hugh Akston||

    No worries, they're already in the process of shutting those clinics down.

  • ||

    Wow thats some pretty messed up stuff dude. Seriously.

    Lou
    www.total-anonymity.se.tc

  • ||

    I personally spent 3 days in a county jail in Utah for exactly this. DUI Metabolite, they called it. I don't think they had "computers", or what we call a "connection to the outside world" down there, so it never actually showed up on my permanent record, which I thought was weird.

  • ||

    my state is somewhat ridiculous, but even our laws aren't THIS stupid. and i say this as somebody who has made over 150 dui arrests.

  • Pip||

    Just so you know, everyone here hates your shit-eating guts.

  • ||

    not everybody is a fuckstick bigot like you, pip.

    just thought i'd share that with you

    hth

  • Pip||

    So everyone of the 150+ people you arrested for DUI were convicted? I highly doubt that. So given that, fuck you and every other piece of shit LEO.

  • Pip||

    I would aslso add that hating pigs is not bigoted. The biggest biggots are you pigs. You know, the ones that hastle black youth for the fun of it.

  • ||

    methinx the bigot doth protest too much.

    i love your "logic"... you're not a bigot because your bigotry isn't bigotry. riiiiiiight

  • Vesman||

    what is bigotry called when it's based on truth?

  • ||

    Dude, the guy is coming to Reason and indicating his opposition to "per se" DUI laws. Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, he's a reasonable person who is also a cop?

    It does happen. We should welcome the good ones with open arms -- good cops are a necessary component of a free society.

  • ||

    cops have to enforce laws we disagree with. i disagree with many laws under the war on drugs, and war on domestic violence. lots of bad (and imo unconstitutional law). i am lucky enough to live in a state that is right to carry (and no permit required for open carry), that has STRONG self defense protections etc. that's one of the reasons i CHOSE to live here. we also have a right to privacy in our constitution, unlike the federal one.

    it's refreshing.

    i explain this to people over and over again. the war on drugs is the fault of the legislature. THEY passed these laws. not cops.

    sure, lots of cops like it. lots of cops don't.

    thanks for your comment btw.

    fwiw, as for mj, most cops i know could not give a flying fuck. i know lots of guys who have not made a misdemeanor mj case (iow possession) in YEARS. why ? because they look the other way. that's reality

  • ||

    Yeah I don't know many cops, but the ones I do know have never even mentioned cannabis. I don't think the average police officer is actively trying to stop people from using marijuana.

    Of course, those "officer's association" deals are different. They totally trash the concept that police only enforce existing laws by constantly voicing opposition to things like marijuana legalization. How does that work? If your average cop doesn't give two shits about cannabis -- a claim I find very plausible -- why are the collective organizations which represent police so entrenched in the war on marijuana?

  • ||

    you are aware that those "officer assocations' that the media loves to quote are usually cop-o-crat org's e.g. the IACP - international assocation of CHIEF's of police, or assocation of sheriff's etc. iow, ADMINISTRATORS not actual COPS.

    such orgs are purely political and most political chiefs are political appointees. they aren't going to say anything the ruffles the feathers of their bosses - the politicians.

    saying the IACP represents cops is like saying an association of auto company CEO's represents assembly line workers

  • ||

    Yeah that's what I figured. It really does a disservice to police officers who actually have to go out and deal with people. Stirring up resentment in the name of a political goal does not make it safer for real police to work the streets.

  • PIP||

    "cops have to enforce laws we disagree with"

    Then quit, hypocrite.

  • ||

    having to enforce laws i disagree w/ =/= hypocrisy. it's called rule of law. by your metric nobody could work in law enforcement, doj, etc. unless u only want robots that unthinkingly agree w/all laws

    you clearly don't understand how rule of law works

  • The Gobbler||

    for alcohol, in my state, it must be proved that EITHER the person was impaired by alcohol OR they had a .08 bac

    the latter is a per se limit. if it is proved, then the case is made for DUI.

    And the former is 100% subjective. In my state, the per se limit is 0.08 bac, BUT if it's only 0.04 and you "appear" impared, they can and do charge people with DUI.

  • ||

    many things in law are subjective, but impairment is not 100% subjective. i've testified as an expert witness on the NHTSA batteryt of tests. they are not 100% subjective. that's simply a lie.

    in either case, you have the right to have a breath AND blood sample taken that can prove your actual level.

    as for the per se level, you are correct. it is possible to get a conviction for impaired if you are below .08 but the burden is on the state to prove impairment beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Camp Guard||

    But I was ordered to kill them. The Major gave the order. I had to do it. I had no choice. It was either that or quit my job. And you know what the economy is like right now.

  • Zeb||

    I agree that rule of law is important to a stable society, but at a certain point other considerations become more important than that and a moral person has to defy the law. I think that the war on drugs is one of the situations where "I'm just doing my job" is no longer an acceptable justification for your actions.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I thought it was called the Nazi prison guard defense.

  • ||

    Cops choose to enforce laws with which they disagree. People choose to be cops.

    And not to go all Godwin on you, but the "I was just following orders" defense hasn't worked out so well of late.

  • Zeb||

    Join LEAP. www.leap.cc

  • ||

    cops have to enforce laws we disagree with

    Uhmm, no. Not really.

    It's called discretion and every fucking LEO has it.

    That's why some speeders get off with warnings and others don't. It's why the CVS employee in Chicago wasn't charged after choking TO DEATH a shoplifter who stole toothpaste and crayons.

    You're full of shit if you are trying to play the "well the law is the law" card. Every LEO makes a choice as to what extent they want to enforce the law against a particular scofflaw.

    I have friends who have been caught with joints, in places where possession is illegal, and in many cases they were told to dump their weed and go on their way.

    They used their discretion and chose not to enforce a law that's on the books for whatever reason they decided.

    So spare us your bullshit I have to enforce laws i disagree with.

  • Bizzaro-Barack HUSSEIN Obama||

    It's why the CVS employee in Chicago wasn't charged after choking TO DEATH a shoplifter who stole toothpaste and crayons.
    I hope he got a raise too

  • ||

    apparently, your reading comprehension is as lame as your bigotry.

    when did i say that everyone of my 150+ DUI arrests was convicted?

    i never arrested a DUI without SOLID probable cause. probable cause doesn't mean that given a trial (where all sorts of groovy stuff can happen) a person will necessarily be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. those are different standards of evidence. also, many forms of evidence that are able to be used as probable cause are not necessarily admissible in criminal trial (often at 3.5 and 3.6 hearings, though).

    if anything, 100% convictions would at least suggest a whiff of impropriety (lying in court to try to get a conviction, etc.). it is not a cops job to get a conviction. heck, i WANT to see a prosecutor nolle pros a case if they can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. that means that some arrests won't even make it to trial, nor should they.

    one example, we had a bunch of DUI's thrown out in my state because the state lab fucked up w/the simulator solution in the breathalyzers such that it could be confirmed that the temperature was within .2 degrees of the accepted level. were those people still impaired? of course. but under frye, those samples were inadmissible, and SHOULD BE inadmissible.

    i don;'t work for the prosecutor's office, and my job is to IMPARTIALLY gather evidence, whether exculpatory or inculpatory. heck, the other day i managed to find witnesses in an extortion case that essentially DISPROVED the victim's claim that the guy had a gun. iow, my job is to find evidence, even if it results in acquittal etc.

    but again, if you revel in being a fuckstick bigot, knock yerself out.

  • Sudden||

    Not all of us have a blind hatred for LEOs. Many of us here are sane and rational human beings who recognize that, in any profession, there are good seeds and bad seeds. Forgive those with the blind hatred, for they so resent the bad seeds that have been endowed with the power of arrest that they fail to nuance their interactions with the good seeds. I respect your candor in voicing your opposition to per se DUI laws and hope that all of the LEOs I interact with in the course of my life will be as reasonable and well intentioned as yourself.

  • ||

    Yeah exactly. The astute observer will realize that the problem is not ultimately police officers -- it is a legal and political environment which creates systemic incentives for this sort of terrible behavior.

    Postttton, just out of curiosity, would you ever consider joining an organization like LEAP? What, if any, are your impressions about how that organization is perceived from within the ranks?

  • ||

    i plead ignorance on LEAP. i've heard of them, but that's about the extent of my knowledge of them.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I couldn't do a job enforcing statism against my principles. That would make me a bitch.

  • ||

    I'm just gonna come out to say it: I'd be royally fucked by this sort of law. In fact I live in one of the states -- NC -- that has a "per se" law on the books.

    Considering that I smoke daily (or just about), there's literally not a single moment I spend driving that doesn't qualify as DUI. Quite a miracle, considering that the worst (and only) thing on my driving record is an out-of-state, non-speeding ticket from over 3 years ago.

  • Paul||

    We should start treating marijuana like Tobacco!

    Oh wait...

  • Abdul||

    Scrape those Phish stickers off your cars!!!

  • Rick||

    I haven't heard this discussed yet, but under what circumstances can the police compell someone for a urine test? If you get stopped for speeding, it seems a stretch. DUI check? If you denie using and show no signs of impairments, how can they enforce this?

  • ||

    Not to worry. Officer postttton will only force you to pee in a bottle if he has probable cause.

    And in all candor, I side closer with Pip here. Having worked with tons of poor black kids, I have seen up close and personal how the cops treat black people and I can assure you, it ain't the same way they treat whites.

    I was with a group of kids at the Minneapolis Museum of Art. One of the kids said he didn't feel well, so he went to go lie down in the van, which was parked in the museum's ramp. When we came out of the museum, we find that the cops had busted him for illegal trespass, because, you know, some little n***** has no business being in a museums parking ramp. It took me and two other adults nearly a half an hour to convince the cops to let the kid go.

    And while you can call this anecdotal, I got a million of 'em.

  • ||

    in my state, one can only force a (blood) sample if

    1) the person is a driver and causes serious bodily injury (defined under the law) to another person
    2) with a warrant

    period...

  • The Gobbler||

    "period..."

    Bullshit...

    But thatnk you for treating wealthy white males like me with unbridled deference. It's really, really is a sweet life.

  • ||

    are you familiar with the RCW gobbler? those are the laws in my state. laws vary state to state. it's part of living in a republic of states

    hth

  • The Gobbler||

    "are you familiar with the RCW gobbler"

    I have no idea what the RCW is. All I know is I am delighted not to have been born poor and black in America.

  • The Gobbler||

    I also don't know what hth means either.

  • ||

    The officer will merely check off the (purely subjective) indicators of impairment, and arrest you.

    That's how.

  • ||

    the nhtsa standards r not "purely subjective"

  • ||

    The standards may not be purely subjective, but many an LEO has been known to basically say they failed the field test regardless of how the accused actually performed.

    Our top DUI cop in Chicago was busted for exactly that. (Talk about shitty incentives...giving out awards for making the most DUI arrests) He finally got caught (can't remember if the dash cam finally busted him or if one of his cases went horribly wrong) and all of his cases have started being reviewed/appealed.

    In fact, until the proliferation of dashboard cameras that provide a small check on police lying (which happens way too often) -- a motorist was completely beholden to the whim of the LEO who stopped them. If it's a cop's word vs. an accused Drunk Driver about whether the accused failed the field sobriety tests the cop always gets the benefit of the doubt.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I will gladly provide a cop with a urine sample if he pulls me over. Won't even wait until he produces a cup.

  • wayne||

    Won't reasonable doubt doom this DUI law? It can be shown pretty conclusively that the mere presence of metabolites does not equal intoxication?

  • ||

    you miss the point. under per se laws, one need not prove IMPAIRMENT, let alone intoxication .

    for alcohol, in my state, it must be proved that EITHER the person was impaired by alcohol OR they had a .08 bac

    the latter is a per se limit. if it is proved, then the case is made for DUI.

    that 's what per se means.

    a habitual alcoholic will NOT be "impaired" (let alone intoxicated) at .08

  • wayne||

    Thanks for the education.

    Suppose a guy smoked a joint a week ago, but none since then and the guy is not currently intoxicated. There would be no probable cause to ask him to be tested for intoxicants, correct?

  • ||

    generally speaking, you are correct. but there's all sorts of scenarios where a test could be done and the guy then gets screwed for a per se limit that has NO relationship to impairment. let's say he was weaving (maybe he was adjusting the radioo and not paying attention), and he had consumed one beer. he refuses the field sobriety tests, so based on the weaving and the odor of liquor and the refusal to take the tests (yes, the refusal to take FST"s can be considered as a factor in developing PC. recall that FST's are direct, not testimonial evidence), and an empty beer can by his feet, that he gets arrested for DUI

    his blood alcohol only returns .03 but they ALSO find the MJ metabolites from when he smoked a week ago. boom, per se violation .

    now, per se limits aren't prima facie unreasonable in general, any more than age of consents are.

    but at least in the case of alcohol, the per se limit of .08 is a level at which MOST people will show significant impairment (not a practicedd drunk though), and shows recent consumption, etc. it may not in some cases = impairment, but it's at least reasonable to set as a per se limit, because for most people it's impaired, and it evidences there is currently a significant amount of alcohol in their bloodstream.

    these essentially zero tolerance MJ per se limits, otoh, don't say ANYTHING about impairment in anybody, since even if you smoked a few days ago, they will still be present.

    per se limits don't have to equal impairment, but they should have some sort of proximal relation and also not sweep people into the criminal net who consumed DAYS before the driving and are not affected AT ALL

  • ||

    Won't reasonable doubt doom this DUI law? It can be shown pretty conclusively that the mere presence of metabolites does not equal intoxication?

    Sorry, Rip van Winkle, but the law presumes guilt, not innocence, nowadays.

  • ||

    not vis a vis dui. the fact with DUI is that there is no crime that one has a better chance of being exonerated if innocent. witnesses lie, coincidences happen, etc. and innocents get convicted all the time in all sorts of crimes. with dui's otoh, if you are in fact not guilty, the breathalyzer is your best friend. it will PROVE your innocence, when all you need is reasonable doubt.

    it's better than any defense attorney, assuming you are in fact not guilty.

  • Pip||

    Lying piece of shit.

    Breath analyzers, often referred to as a Breathalyzer (formally a brand name), only estimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC). They do not provide actual blood alcohol concentration results. Analysis of a blood sample is required to provide an accurate result. Estimated blood alcohol readings obtained from a breath analyzer can be:

    Accurate.
    Inaccurate.
    Provide a false positive due to alcohol detection with accurate or inaccurate readings.
    Provide a false positive due to external, non-alcohol influences with accurate or inaccurate readings.
    Breathalyzers are manufactured under various brand names including:

    Intoxilyzer
    Alcosensor
    Alcoscan
    BAC Datamaster

    http://www.1888drugcrimes.com/.....sitive.htm

  • ||

    and here's another hint.

    *if* you think that the BAC is inaccurate, under the laws in my state, if you request this (and i read you a form and give it to you that explains this is an option), then i MUST drive you to the hospital or medical facility where you can GET A BLOOD DRAW.

    the formula by which BRAC (breath alcohol concentration) is gotten means that the brac will be LOWER than the true blood reading: BAC.

    in my entire career, i have had two that i recall people request a blood test after failing the breathalyzer. in BOTH cases, the blood reading was slightly higher

    but again, if the breathalyzer is innaccurate, then request a blood test. under the laws of my state, you have that ABSOLUTE right.

    and yet few take advantage of it.

    and any defense attorney worth his salt knows that it would be stupid to get a blood reading because it will reinforce the failed breath test and simply offer more inculpatory evidence.

    hth

  • Pip||

    "then i MUST drive you to the hospital or medical facility where you can GET A BLOOD DRAW."

    Yeah? Well maybe I have shit to do and don't want to waste my time stroking your power-gland.

  • ||

    so , proving your innocence subsequent to your arrest for DUI, by getting a blood draw is "stroking my power-gland"

    fascinating

  • nervous me||

    I drive significantly safer after consuming marijuana. It greatly reduces the severe anxiety I suffer from driving, magnifies my awareness and perception, and enhances my timing.

  • ||

    I wouldn't say it reduces my anxiety while I drive -- in fact sometimes it does the opposite.

    However, I have noticed that when I drive stoned, I tend to drive much closer to the actual speed limit, and to greatly increase my following distance. I think it would be hard to argue that either change represents an increased hazard to myself or other drivers.

    The other important difference between alcohol and cannabis is that alcohol greatly affects judgment, while marijuana does nothing of the sort.

  • ||

    there is a difference between THINKING you drive more safely and actually driving more safely. since mj, as a psychoactive substance, affects perception, that should be especially obvious

    it MAY be true that you drive more safely on mj, but your subjective perception is hardly good evidence of same

    fwiw, there are nhtsa studies on the relative affects of various drugs on driving ability. some illegal drugs improve driving ability, fwiw. cocaine, for example (up to certain levels)

  • ||

    The way in which cannabis "affects perception" is, for veteran users, subtle and unremarkable. It is not an experience that challenges one's ability to perceive reality on a direct physical level.

    I'm not even claiming I "drive more safely", and I do my best to avoid driving soon after smoking (although I'm much more stringent about alcohol). But even if we ignore the stupidity of equating presence of non-psychoactive metabolites with driving impaired, the effects of the typical cannabis experience on one's ability to drive are simply not very severe.

    (Also, it should be pointed out that studies on cannabis-affected drivers tend to show that cannabis users are much more aware of their own level of impairment that alcohol users are. If anybody is guilty of thinking he's better-suited to drive than he actually is, it's the drinker.)

  • ||

    the breathalyzer is your best friend

    That's funny; every cop (and every attorney, and bail bondsman) I have ever known, has told me to never blow in the breathalyzer.

    If you ever see one of those vanishingly rare stories about a cop getting pulled over for suspected DUI, the story invariably will note the officer declined to blow.

  • ||

    if he declined to blow, then he was most likely guilty. duh

    are you claiming that the scientific basis by which the instrument works is flawed?

    we used to try them all the time (go out and get drunk and see how high we could blow). i've never seen one give a reading for somebody who hadn't been drinking.

    they work.

    a defense attorney would tell you not to blow unless they were entirely certain you would not blow over the limit. how would they know that?

    if you know, that for example, you are 200 lbs and had one beer an hour ago, you'd be an idiot NOT to blow

  • Gray Ghost||

    Welcome back, "whit/dunphy". Do they have "no refusal" laws in your jurisdiction, which I believe is WA?

    I'm not going to curse at you, but from my conversations with DUI defense attorneys, I basically agree with Pip that a suspect would be an idiot to blow into a Breathalyzer.

    Blood tests are different; I'd have no problem providing a blood sample if I thought my alcohol level was way under the legal limit.

    Of course, the best way to avoid DUI troubles is not to drink and drive in the first place. As one of my friends, a DUI attorney, put it, "My fee + costs for a typical DUI case are around $3500. That's about 100 cab rides..."

  • Pip||

    "Of course, the best way to avoid DUI troubles is not to drink and drive in the first place"

    One of MY iron laws, BTW.

  • ||

    and from my conversations with dui defense attorneys, anybody who is in fact NOT impaired would be an idiot NOT to blow.

    again, IF the breath reading was erroneous (and i already explained the numerous checks on this), you have the absolute right in my state to get a blood test.

    the ONLY reason NOT to take a breath test would be if you thought you were impaired.

    and fwiw, in my state, most defense attorney recommend their client blow, because a refusal results in a 1 yr license suspension. the only time they say don't blow is when the guy already has a habitually revoked/suspended license

    fwiw, i was pulled over and administered FST's while in college. i passed

    if i failed, and wasn't impaired, i would have blown. i was 21, though. if under 21, then i would have been guilty with any level above .02 (juvenile DUI statute)

  • Vesman||

    "anybody who is in fact NOT impaired would be an idiot NOT to blow."

    so would i be an idiot to NOT allow a cop to search my car if I'm sure I'm NOT breaking the law?

    Is right to refuse only for the guilty?

  • ||

    are you claiming that the scientific basis by which the instrument works is flawed?

    I'll say this much -- Breathalyzers use a fuel cell which reacts to the alcohol vapors in the breath. I worked on fuel cells as an engineer for a couple years. The things are, at best, really freaking finicky from an engineering standpoint.

    The problem is that the chemistry is so intricate that any number of factors -- temperature, humidity, physical orientation, the current Terror Alert color -- can affect their operation. The way around that is to use sensors for these variables, and to use a control system to compensate. But that is easier said than done, and will inevitable rest on any number of assumptions which may or may not be accurate.

  • ||

    among the control systems used are a simulator solution. two seperate samples of the simulator are pumped into the chamber and both must read correctly for the test to be valid.

    furthermore, two samples of ambient room air are sampled and both must read .000

    furthermore, two suspect samples are taken and both must read within tolerance ranges of each other

    furthermore, if the suspect disputes the BAC he can DEMAND to be taken to a medical facility for a blood test

    so, i say again - if you are innocent, the breathalyzer is your best friend. it is FAR FAR FAR more reliable than any human witness, because it has no animus or faulty memory and is tested in all these ways on EACH sample

    and if you dispute the readings, you are guaranteed the right to a blood test

    hth

  • ||

    Yeah, procedural fail-safes are important and helpful, and I'm not even trying to dispute (or agree with) your advice. I'm just saying that a fuel cell is not the most dependable device out there -- I've seen them mess up in all sorts of crazy ways.

    FWIW, I've never once driven while impaired by alcohol in any way I could notice. I keep myself to a single drink while I'm out unless I have a driver with me.

  • ||

    my point is this, assume said fuel cell messed up.

    then it would be messed up in regards to the TWO samples taken from the simulator, as well as the ambient room air samples. that's my point

    ALL of those must read correctly, as well as BOTH suspect samples.

    AND if you still dispute the reading, you the right to an INDEPENDENT blood test, iow tested by a doctor of YOUR choice at a lab of YOUR choice

    that's a huge amount of protection against bogus convictions

    far beyond a reasonable doubt

  • ||

    oh also, i am aware of two officers IN MY AGENCY who were arrested for dui

    BOTH chose to blow

    hth

  • ||

    i am trying to remember the last cop i know of who was arrested for DUI who did NOT blow. i can think of 4 offhand, and all blew.

    all were guilty as fuck, too. but they knew that if they blew they'd get a deferred prosecution, as first time offenders get, and only lose their license for 3 months.

  • wayne||

    Cool.

    A very good friend of mine has an older brother who is (was, he is retired now) a Chicago cop. He got arrested for DUI in one of the suburbs. He was furious that he was not shown some "professional courtesy", and vowed that he would arrest every "pussy" suburban cop who ventured into Chicago. His license was suspended for a few months, but I don't recall any other punishment.

    It is good to hear from a cop on H&R.

  • ||

    a few month suspension for a DUI is pretty harsh ime. the two cops i know that got dui's each got less than 5 days suspension. of course they had to go to AA and stuff and admit they had a "disease" etc. but whatever.

    thanks for your comments

  • Pip||

    STOP FUCKING LYING.

    Substances in the environment can also lead to false BAC readings. For example, someone working with products such as contact cement, oil-based paints, varnish, lacquers, paint removers, celluloid, gasoline, cleaning fluids and other similar materials can show to be legally intoxicated when tested with a breath analyzer.

    Certain food, alcohol and other items in a person's mouth can also cause false BAC levels. For instance, a sip of alcohol just prior to being tested or possibly even eating a chocolate or cake filled with liqueur. One person who reported his blood alcohol test results at a party using a AlcoHAWK stated "Subjected to first test of the night was Meaghan. She had downed two "chocolate cakes", which are baked from vodka and Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). Her breath revealed a .05 BAC."

    Other items in a person's mouth which can cause false positives are tobacco smoke, blood, vomit, dirt, and moisture.

    External influences which can produce false BAC positive ratings include electrical interference from a cell phone or police radio. If standing directly under high tension wires, it may be possible for the EMF (electromagnetic field) to cause a false positive reading. An EMF tester can later be taken to the exact location of the test to determine the strength of the electromagnetic radiation.

    Breath analyzers are sensitive to temperature and may give false readings if not adjusted or recalibrated to account for ambient or surrounding air temperatures.

  • ||

    breathanalyzers in my state have a temperature calibrated similator solution (within .2 degrees of 34 deg centigrade ) as well as an ambient air check etc.

    but again, you are simply ignorant.

    if you (or anybody) in my state is unhappy with the breathalyzer reading/believes it's false, etc. then you have the RIGHT to have me take you to a medical facility for a blood draw.

    hth

    no defense attorney would recommend this since it will offer additional evidence of guilty because they know damn well the breathalyzer is accurate.

    in our state the breathalyzers are set to take TWO ambient room air readings (one before and one after the defendant sample). BOTH must read .000

    also, we take TWO subsequent defendant breath samples and they both must read within a very close tolerance

    but again, if you doubt the accuracy of the BAC, you are able to DEMAND a blood test

    i've had two people request them after failed breathalyzer tests

    in both casees, the blood reading was slightly higher, as would be expected

    hth

  • Pip||

    if you (or anybody) in my state is unhappy with the breathalyzer reading/believes it's false, etc. then you have the RIGHT to have me take you to a medical facility for a blood draw.

    ibid

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/05.....nt_1705308

  • ||

    oh also, another point of your ignorance.

    prior to administration of a breathalzer in my state, we have to wait a period of time for any possible residual mouth alcohol to dissipate and log those times. also, the BAC only measures alveolar air by requiring a minimum air volume/pressure before measuring. but again, like i showed in my other post (any suspect can demand a blood test if they want) , you are simply ignorant of procedure and science

  • Paul||

    Now we see why these kinds of laws make it very difficult to legalize marijuana?

    Imagine getting busted for DUI a week after you had that Vodka Gimlet.

  • ||

    I don't really think that sort of conflict is necessarily a bad thing though from a reformer's standpoint. This is the same sort of objection people have to the current California initiative -- oh, the feds will shut it down, it'll all go to shit.

    Well I say let it. At least force the spineless bastards in office to lay their cards out on the table, to stake out a clear position on the matter. I don't see anything wrong with forcing the feds to choose between letting up and locking down.

    Same thing here. If the state laws end up being hypocritical, then the hypocrisy should be highlighted and addressed, not avoided.

  • ||

    then he was most likely guilty.

    Presumption of guilt.

    Thanks for making my point.

  • ||

    the point is clear. if the cop refused to blow he was most likely guilty. i didn't PRESUME he was guilty. i said he was MOST LIKELY iow it was probable. that's not enough to convict hth.

    if i was arrested for DUI and i was NOT over the limit i would choose to blow.

    anybody who knew they were under the limit and knows how the breathalyzer works would blow.

    either they were irrational or impaired.

    hth

    but i didn't presume he was guilty. i said he was most likely guilty.

    hth

  • ||

    If I say it will "most likely" rain today, I am presuming it will rain. Hell, I might even bring along an umbrella.

    Saying that a person choosing not to take a breathalyzer is "most likely guilty" is the perfect epitome of presumption of guilt. In fact I'd be hard pressed to find a more apt use of the term.

  • ||

    it is NOT a presumption of guilt.

    cops make arrests based on probable cause.

    probable cause means facts and circumstnaces evidencing that the person most likely committed the crime. it is nowhere NEAR a presumption of GUILT, which is fact and circumstances proving same beyond a reasonable doubt.

    i arrest lots of people who are most likely guilty. that's a FAR FAR cry from saying they are guilty. many are not at all guilty

  • Vesman||

    "i arrest lots of people...many are not at all guilty"

    Wow... how do you sleep at night?

  • ||

    only the trier of fact must presume innocence.

    no prosecutor could even try a case if he PRESUMED innocence in that case. if the fact pattern is such, i can say X is most likely guilty. similarly, even in cases where a person has been found guilty i can still say it's more likely than not that they are innocent.

    this is not hard to grok.

  • ||

    "Posttton is most likely guilty" = presumption of Posttton's guilt.

    Also not hard to grok.

  • ||

    fair enuf. i concede that point. i also say that since i am not the trier of fact, in a criminal case, i do not have a duty NOT to presume guilt.

    if a guy is caught running from a bank with a bunch of die marked bills stuffed in his pants and two tellers identify him and i see him on video tape robbing the bank, and i recover the demand note in his pocket after arresting him, yes i am going to PRESUME he is guilty. he is almost certainly guilty as fuck. duh

    he still gets a trial where the JURY is not supposed to presume guilt, but i don't have that burden, nor do you.

    contrarily, for example, in the duke case, as SOON as the fact pattern emerged (the victim's story stunk AND the suspects were bending over backwards to cooperate with prosecution), i was pretty confident they were innocent as fuck.

    otoh, the guy (name escapes me) in texas who got convicted of arson is almost certainly innocent as fuck, despite what the jury said.

    adults can draw their own conclusions

  • ||

    otoh, the guy (name escapes me) in texas who got convicted of arson is almost certainly innocent as fuck, despite what the jury said.

    That's the Willingham case I believe. And it's worth pointing out that the jury based their verdict on horrible misinformation, which was brought into court because of a presumption of guilt on the part of the police and prosecutors involved.

    That's exactly the pitfall that the "innocent until proven guilty" rule is supposed to prevent: zealous cops and prosecutors who care more about nailing a particular suspect than finding out what actually happened.

  • ||

    Pip, I don't think you're going to convince the good constable to change his mind. Openness to new information from any source but their superiors is not a trait common in LEOs.

  • ||

    please provide evidence that pip has provided that disputes any point i made:

  • Pip||

    You could start by looking in the San Francisco police lab.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/201.....drug-cases

  • Pip||

    Or maybe in Minneapolis:

    Some Strike Force officers allegedly targeted minorities and took home property they seized from suspects, but the unit's advisory board, including several local sheriffs and police chiefs, didn't ask hard questions that might have revealed how far the team had strayed from its mission.

    http://www.startribune.com/projects/47792482.html

  • ||

    neither of these has any relation to any point i made.

    did i ever claim that there aren't corrupt cops? of course not.

    duh

    you are constructing a serious strawmen. of course there are corrupt , lying cops. none of that has relevance to the points i made, nor did i ever claim otherwise.

    hth

  • Pip||

    Well it realtes to mine. I believe Mick Jagger (or was it Lucifer) put it best when he sang, "Just as every cop is a criminal."

    You know, the hypocracy of being a cop.

    In San Francisco, the drug lab cop was stealing the drugs.

    In Minneapolis, the Gang Strikeforce Unit was targeting minorities and stealing their property. In Georgia, it was cops planting evidence after killing an old woman at the wrong house. In Prince Georges County, it was a SWAT team shooting the mayor's dog's, leaving them to bleed out. It's like this in every city in America.

    Every. Single. One.

    Even yours.

  • Pip||

    That's North, East, West and South you pathetic rationalizer.

  • ||

    if you can't recognize the logical fallacy, i can't help you

    some cops are corrupt.

    it does not therefore follow that all or most are.

    hth

  • Vesman||

    "some cops are corrupt."

    how many GOOD cops cover for BAD cops?

    how many GOOD cops fail to report BAD cops?

  • ||

    Uh, I wasn't talking to you. Said all I had to say to you at 3:51 PM.

  • ||

    ah yes. another close minded broad brush bigot (tm) speaks.

    yawn...

  • don||

    Prisoners being held for the peaceful, non-violent possession, sale, transport or cultivation of cannabis hemp must be released immediately. Money and property seized must be returned. Criminal records must be wiped clean, amnesty granted and some sort of reparations paid for time served. These cannabis prisoners are the real victims of this monstrous crime against humanity called the “War on Drugs.”
    The United States is supposed to be a free country, yet those who choose to smoke or eat this mostly harmless drug are penalized. An American can go out and drink themself to death, but they cannot freely use a drug which is less toxic and less prone to making one out of control than alcohol. I say this is not only unfair, but also un-American!
    The police, prosecutors and prison guards should not be in charge of which herbal therapies people may use to treat their personal health problems.
    Federal Judge Francis Young in 1988 called “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

  • ||

    don, i agree

    i deal with tons of violent fuckstick assholes emboldened by alcohol

    mj makes people want to laff at dumb jokes and eat cheezy poofs

  • Tim||

    Does it really make sense then to allow alcohol and expend so much money and effort in a futile effort to stop mj then?

  • ||

    of course it does not make sense. the war on drugs in general doesn't make sense, but the war on mj makes even less sense

  • Tim||

    Agreed, it makes about as much sense, is about as effective and causes as many problems as alcohol prohibition did.

  • ||

    So why don't you quit?

  • ||

    quit what? i don't smoke mj

    if you are referring to law enforcement, that would be stupid. why would i quit a great job, that does a lot of good, because i disagree with SOME laws.

    as for mj enforcement, i can't remember the last mj case i made. it was probably years ago.

    if your argument is that one shouldn't be a cop if one doesn't agree with EVERY law, then that's a ludicrous argument. we live in a country of laws. no sentient being could agree with all of them. we still need people on the front lines protecting people and property. i certainly wouldn't choose to selectively enforce mj laws, and i don't have to. most cops i know don't give a flying fuck about mj

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I think the point is that if you enforce a law that you know is immoral, then that is .... immoral. Just say you refuse to enforce immoral laws and you'll get lots quick fans.

  • ||

    i've seen this argument made before. i think it's terrible policy, but whether or not it's "immoral" is a more subjective standard. there are far WORSE laws than the laws against mj, but regardless, by your metric, you can't have good cops at all. you have mindless drones who unquestioningly accept all laws as valid, moral, etc.

    believe it or not, i spend less than 1% of my time (at best) enforcing anything relating to mj. like i said, i can't even remember when i did my last possession case.

    we live in a system of rule of law. if i REFUSE to enforce all laws i disagree with, that's frankly, anarchy.

    we can't have cops selectively not enforcing laws all based on their different perceptions of what is and isn't just laws.

    i'm not interested in "getting quick fans" here. i could easily say crap like that, but it would be dishonest, and that would also be wrong.

    the perfect is the enemy of the good. and that's the fallacy you can't grok

    either you accept that you are going to have to enforce some laws you disagree with, or you leave law enforcement solely to those without conscience, or sentience.

    and fwiw, i could take your argument one step further. do you pay taxes?

    IF you do, then you necessarily are taking part in the war on drugs. so, by your logic, you need to stop paying taxes or else you are immoral.

    so, take a stand!!! for morality!!!

  • Pip||

    if you are referring to law enforcement pimping, that would be stupid. why would i quit a great job, that does a lot of good, because i disagree with SOME laws.

    FIFY,P

  • ||

    i am for legalization of prostitution, so pimp away sir!

  • Vesman||

    "most cops i know don't give a flying fuck about mj"

    Until you piss them off and they then use it as en excuse to arrest you.

    isn't that how drug laws started?

    Cops needed to deal with people they didn't like, so they go after the "drugs" they used.

  • Susan||

    It has been illegal a long time, we can't just change that. We are in a recession and the war on drug provides much needed employment.

  • ||

    How else should we be able to tell if drivers are high on the pot?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Never blow. Never talk to a cop without a lawyer present. Easy.
    I hope posttton really is a good cop. There are many. Fewer than I once thought, though.

  • Pip||

    There are none. It's a thin blue line thing.

  • ||

    dumb advice.

    but i respect your opinion :)

  • Pip||

    Said the state,
    Self-incriminate.

  • ||

    except this is a myth, reinforced by selection bias.

    i once arrested an attorney and took him down to the station, based on a brandishing complaint.

    based on HIS statement post-miranda, i released him and the prosecutor declined to prosecute. why? his post miranda statement established a strong case for self-defense

    here's another example. ( a true one)

    it's two am. i see some dude trying to get into a car with a coat hanger. i conduct a terry stop and get his name, ask him what he is doing. he says he is trying to get into his car cause he locked the keys in it.

    i run the plate. it comes back to a female name, not his (not even the same surname).

    i clarify with him , "is it YOUR car?" and he says it's his girlfriend's. he gives me her cell phone #, and i am able to confirm that he did in fact give him permission to use her car and it's all copacetic.

    but *if* he just clammed up when i asked him what he was doing, he likely would have been arrested. he was entering a vehicle forcibly (coat hanger and screwdriver), not his own, and that alone, without anything exculpatory is probable cause.

    in that case, the case would have been dismissed once the facts became known, but it wouldn't have kept him out of jail that evening

    he would have been a MORON not to explain himself, and of course he did

    stuff like this happens all the time. you never hear about it, though, since it doesn't make it to trial, obviously.

    if you are innocent, in a case like this, it behooves you to talk . and most do, and help themself.

    if you are guilty, it is usually not in your best interest to talk, although sometimes it helps. there have been numerous cases where smart guilty people managed to talk themselves out of key suspect status and get away with crimes. but that's a much more difficult and risky proposition

    the defense attorneys i have spoken to say that ASSUMING their client was in fact innocent, they would have no probklem with them providing at least a cursory statement . it's just that they readily admit "my clients are almost never innocent" :) outside the courtroom, you get that kind of candor

  • Vesman||

    i clarify with him , "is it YOUR car?"

    I think at this point in the story, most cops would just have arrested him anyway, especially if he was non-white.

  • ||

    if you are not impaired, you are an idiot NOT to blow. first of all, in WA state, you lose your license MERELY FOR REFUSING, for a year, and no hardship (back and forth to work) license possible. second of all, you are refusing to provide evidence that could PROVE your innocence, and even possibly result in a means to sue for false arrest in an extreme case. a breathalyzer does not incriminate the innocent. it exonerateds them. much like DNA. it can be your best friend or worst enemy

  • ||

    postttton-

    From a practical standpoint, I cannot disagree with your last two posts.

    However, you do not have to enforce laws malum prohibitum laws. If you see some folks smoking some good green bud in the park, you do not have to bust them. Likewise, you do have the right and the opportunity to tell your superior officers that you will not enforce such laws as your duty is to the constitution, not acts of parliament. You could also form an association with other officers who choose to be friends of libery rather than sheeple who want to be loyal to the brotherhood.

  • ||

    and this is of course what happens in the real world (tm). do you think that everytime a patrol officer sees somebody smoking, or in possession of pot, he makes a criminal case?

    we have a decent amount of discretion with such non-violent and victimless misdeameanors and many of us choose to exercise that discretion. like i said, i know cops who haven't done such a criminal case in years. read between the lines, buddy. do you think they are citing mj everytime they see it or giving warnings?

    do the math

  • ||

    When will the Obama administration put up a "You Wanker--What the Hell are You Doing" website for us to post on?

  • ||

    Over half of the people in prison are there on non-violent drug related charges, mostly simple pot possession.

    For every student caught with pot that gets locked up a prison has to let out some other offender.

    Most violent offenders join gangs in prison and then go on to commit more violent offenses, 60% in the first year, 90% within two years.

    The government has known this for 50 years.

    The government manufactures the violent criminal class.

    Of course, anyone who's done time in Iraq or Afghanistan knows that the government manufactures the terrorist class too.

  • ||

    i call bullshit. please provide a cite, preferably a credible one that most people who are in prison (note: PRISON not jail) that are there for drug offenses (which you claim to be 50% of the prison pop) that MOST of that 50% are there for "simple pot possession" as you claim

  • ||

    People are thinking that a per se law would use blood or urine tests, but there's no reason to assume that.

    I'm sure that nowadays, skin swab technology will accomplish the same task.

    Soviet Russia couldn't have implemented a policy so totalitarian. Parasitic revenue enhancement. Balancing budgets on the backs of pot users, while terrorizing people into modifying their private personal behavior.

    And that's the best I could hope to say about it.

    A citizenry that would accept that would accept anything. And the prospects aren't hopeful, considering how much the silent majority has learned to acquiesce or submit to, already.

    I have so many years as a cab driver...believe me, DUI is all about the drunks. Other than that, it's pretty much an invented problem.

    All anyone has to do is check out the epidemiology of the situation- there's been an inverse correlation between the increase in cannabis use and the drop in serious accidents and traffic fatalities for at least the last 15 years.

    As for drunk driving- at this point, I'm not even convinced that blood or breath tests for alcohol are warranted. Video camera technology is so ubiquitous that police ought to be able to make driving impairment cases simply from filming the behavior that led to the stop, and the behavior of the driver when questioned.

  • ||

    I think such laws make it more likely that people will drive immediately after smoking. They have no incentive not to. If you're going to test positive, you might as well be high. If you're going to do the time you might as well do the crime. If the police used saliva tests (4 hr, approx) it would give an accurate reading and deter people from smoking while driving... Not that I feel MJ impairs driving ability but that's a hard sell to the public. Baby steps.

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