Drug Czar Does Vouchers

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No, not government script for weed. Some $200 million a year for the next three years to provide vouchers for drug abuse treatment programs. It is all part of the nearly $12 billion that will be spent on the very latest National Drug Control Strategy.

Another highlight: funding research to develop a saliva field test for drug use so cops can apply the test to drivers they stop. This is in service of "targeting drugged driving," a menace for which no exact harm is identified.

NEXT: Foster "Care"

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  1. Well, considering what at least marijuana does to most people, I can’t possibly understand how they’d be a menace while driving. This doesn’t even make sense. I’d be happy if some of the rush hour hyper-aggressive drivers took some niiiiice long bong hits before they got on the freeway. We’d see a lot less road rage.

  2. I personally don’t like driving high. Maybe it’s because I drive so rarely, but I feel more secure when straight.

    The thing is, if the saliva test work like other tests, I’d be screwed; marijuana is detectable for weeks, long after the high has warn off.

    This is going to be popular with the O’Reilly types, who’ll see it as a means to make functioning as a pot smoker as difficult as possible.

  3. Saliva test ? Saliva ? As in; if you have enough saliva to test – you are straight enough to drive ?

  4. When are these Dragnet types going to realize that STONED PEOPLE DON’T DRIVE. They sit around the house, laughing and eating. Driving is much too taxing, yet uninteresting when stoned. It’s not worth the effort.

  5. Wake up. The only way pot will ever be legalized is if an effective test can be developed that can determine how stoned a driver is.

  6. There is the possibility that this could be done in a proper and constitutional manner. But you just know it will be abused a dozen different ways (random testing ala DWI roadblocks)

  7. Dude, how are you gonna give a saliva test to someone with cotton mouth?

  8. The cops are welcome to test the saliva I spit in their faces.

  9. I guess that’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans on drug treatment. Republicans want treatment vouchers, whil democrats would like goverment run treatment centers.

  10. I vaguely remember a guy in Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (which I read a decade ago) who drove the schoolbus while high on LSD. It was called gestalt mechanism driving…..seemed to make him a better driver.

  11. Actually, saliva testing for driving while stoned is potentially promising, even for die-hard anti-drug-war folks. Driving while stoned is irresponsible, even if it is not as dangerous as driving while drunk.

    According to the Canadian Report of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs: Cannabis (2002) on p. 171: “Saliva is a very promising option for road safety because it … can indicate recent use with some accuracy. … Concentrations [of (delta)9-THC — NOT inactive metabolites] are very high in the few minutes following absorbtion … but then decline very quickly in the hours that follow, though they remain detectable for an average of four to six hours.”

    However, this is no assurance that ONDCP will actually try to develop the correct test. Their 2003 strategy (p. 23) says the research is to “help an officer tell if a driver has used illegal drugs.” The real goal should be to detect if a driver has RECENTLY used illegal drugs, much as alcohol breath tests detect if a driver has RECENTLY used alcohol.

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