Dianne Feinstein Says Stoned Drivers Ruin Marijuana Legalization for Everyone


Office of Dianne Feinstein

Yesterday Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told the Associated Press she opposes marijuana legalization in her state partly because she worries about stoned drivers. "The risk of people using marijuana and driving is very substantial," she said. A.P. helped Feinstein make her case by citing "a possible example":

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal weekend collision in Santa Rosa as being related to marijuana use. A woman and her daughter-in-law were killed when a Toyota Camry in which they were riding was rear-ended by a pickup truck. A preliminary CHP investigation determined that the 30-year-old man driving the pickup was impaired by marijuana and reading a text message on his cellphone at the time of the collisioin.

If this case is evidence in favor of marijuana prohibition, it is also evidence in favor of cellphone prohibition. By the same token, the fact that people die in alcohol-related crashes is evidence in favor of alcohol prohibition. In fact, since alcohol impairs driving ability more dramatically than marijuana does, legalizing pot might actually reduce traffic fatalities, to the extent that more pot smoking is accompanied by less drinking. There is evidence of such an effect in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. States like California, where traffic fatalities fell by 30 percent between 1996, when voters approved medical marijuana, and 2011. Even when you control for the nationwide decline during that period, adoption of medical marijuana laws is associated with a drop in fatal crashes, as opposed to the increase feared by Feinstein. The senator does not seem to have noticed that her own state, where the doctor's recommendations that allow medical use are notoriously easy to obtain, has been testing her hypothesis for almost two decades.

Feinstein offered another reason for opposing marijuana legalization:

She said serving on the California Women's Board of Terms and Parole during the 1960s allowed her to see how marijuana, in her view, led to bigger problems for many female inmates.

"I saw a lot of where people began with marijuana and went on to hard drugs," Feinstein said.

The "gateway drug" theory espoused by Feinstein is at least 63 years old, and it is no more credible today than when Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry Anslinger was citing it as a reason to fear marijuana. In addition to the conceptual problems with Feinstein's theory, you may have noticed a weakness in her research methods. When you draw your sample of cannabis consumers from a population of prisoners, it is hardly surprising if you find that cannabis consumption is associated with bad outcomes. Such as going to prison. If Feinstein wants to draw a causal link between smoking pot and "bigger problems," she will have to do better than that.

Or maybe she won't. It all depends on whether we are past the period when pot prohibitionists could get by with unsubstantiated fears and anecdotes from the 1960s. Polling data suggest we might be.

NEXT: Casino Magnate Finds Legislators to Support His War on Online Gambling

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And Feinstein’s streak of being wrong on everything continues unabated.

    1. Exhibit A of why California needs to break off and sink in to the ocean.

      Pelosi, Dianne “I touched the bullet holes” Feinstein, Barbara “Don’t Call me Ma’am” Boxer….


      1. The Idependent.UK calls her the CIA’s Nemesis.

        Maybe the writers just couldn’t think of the right word and used nemesis in place of something more accurate… like ardent supporter of government oppression.

        Or maybe from a UK POV, where unicorns exist, Dianne is actually fighting for civil rights.

        Here in reality however, she’s obviously a a statist who will gladly use the CIA, NSA, or any other alphabet agency to exert more power against individuals she and her ilk have deemed as being The Wrong People?.

        Of course the Independent likely doesn’t disagree with those uses of the CIA either….

    2. If only there was a way we could get Feinstein to feel personally victimize by marijuana prohibition, then maybe she’d change her tune.

      1. Hopefully she’ll get bone cancer.

        1. I was going to suggest one of her grandkids getting busted for pot and railroaded, but that works even better.

          Of course in either situation Very Important People like her don’t have to follow the rules like us peons.

          1. Dude, you’re wishing for an old lady to get cancer and for her grandkids to suffer as a way of making her suffer?

            1. If that’s what it takes to make her stop making others suffer, yes.

            2. Since it really isn’t the grandkid’s fault he’s the spawn of wickedness I’d like to see him railroaded then pardoned by President Paul.

              And what RC said. She has such contempt for the rest of us that are beneath her that she would only be reaping what she has sewn.

              1. reaping what she has sewn.

                I think you mean sown. You sew clothes, you sow seeds (and then reap the crops at harvest). /pedantic asshole

                1. And nature grows the seed. Don’t leave that out.

                  1. ” This self-sufficiency thing is really beautiful. We sow the seed, nature grows the seed, and then we eat the seed.”

                2. Yeah, I realized that didn’t look right after I posted.

                  You reap what you sow and sew what you rip.

            3. The grandkids would just be subject to the same laws as everybody else. I don’t see what the problem is.

            4. I’d hate to see her grandkids suffer. They can’t help that they’re related to her.

              But as for Dianne Feinstein? I have no qualms about wishing for her to suffer a painful disease. She deserves to suffer like she wants other people to suffer.

            5. And yes, I am actually wishing that she gets bone cancer, tries to get Medical MJ to alleviate her suffering, and is denied out of fears that she might drive while stoned.

              If, at any point, she apologizes, admits she was wrong, and changes her stance, I would be in favor of allowing her access to the MJ.

              1. Ah, but what if all the *other* cancer sufferers and people in prison for dope are cosmically deserving of punishment for various reasons – wife-beaters, Democrats, hippie environmentalists? Feinstein would be an instrument in the hand of God to aminister divine justice.


                1. How clever of you.

        2. Can’t it be both, you guys?

        3. She could just get a medical MJ prescription. Not brutal enough. Personally, I’d like to see her get PTSD following a brutal wild dog attack.

          1. I’d prefer that her CCW expire, she forgets about it, and then gets locked up for possession of a concealed weapon.

            1. Looks like we’ll be able to get CCWs in California now. A buddy of mine just applied up in Ventura County. I’m planning on applying sometime in the next year.

              But now I get to go pistol shopping in order to find the weapon I intend on CCing. Any recommendations?

              1. LAPD and LASD aren’t compliant with case law yet. Ventura and OC are.

              2. Glock 36 if money is no object, otherwise a Keltec or LC9.

              3. Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

                1. Just what ya see here, Buddy!

              4. Do you want light and concealable? I like my carry pistols to be as light and unobtrusive as possible (especially since I have often carried them at work) so I go for Kel-Tecs. My P3AT is stupid small and light, ridiculously so. My PF-9 is similar, but in 9mm. They’re the kind of carry pistol you can almost forget you’re carrying.

                1. The one thing stopping me from getting the Glock 42 is that .380 can be hard to come by. I have about 5000 rounds of 9mm and 1000 rounds of .45 in my garage, but no .380.

                  1. Me having fun with a propane tank.

                    Springfield XD9 5″ barrel.


                2. Anything with a short barrel I get a bit concerned with my accuracy above 10-15 feet.

                  1. Concealed carry pistols aren’t about accuracy and especially aren’t about distance. They’re about “oh shit this guy is going to try and attack me BLAM BLAM”, so I wouldn’t worry about your distance accuracy with them. This is why many have rudimentary, or no, sights. If you’re shooting at someone farther away, you might want to consider the legal ramifications.

                    1. In light of this, it seems I should perhaps buy two arms. A lightweight and easily concealed Kal-Tec for CCW and a more robust weapon for home defense (in which case, do I stick with pistol or think about a shotgun?).

                    2. I have both for home defense. Look at the Maverick 88. It is a version of the Mossberg 500 minus the cross-bolt, and you can find it on sale for around 200 bucks. It handles bird, buck, and slugs equally well…

                    3. Why stick to two? I have multiple shotguns, some good for home defense and some for skeet and trap, and several pistols, some good for concealed carry and some just great for shooting at the range (CZ-97B, I’m looking at you).

                    4. Lets whip ’em out and put ’em on the table. My 3 primary long guns are a S&W M&P15; (heavily modified with EOTech XPS2), a Kel-Tec SU16C (to circumvent CA law) and an HK USC.

                      I have some collectibles too, but these are the ones I let loose in the desert.

                    5. (starts unzipping pants)

                      Oh…oh, you meant guns. Ah.

                      I’m not a big long gun guy, partly because they’re just not my thing and partly because I have to drive 30-35 minutes to shoot them. My main one is a customized SKS with a peep sight, and I also have a 30-06 custom built hunting rifle and some .22s. I wouldn’t mind getting an AK. My shotguns include a Winchester 1300 Defender and a Weatherby SA-08 (both in 12 gauge), and others.

                      Then there are all the pistols, of which I described a few above.

                    6. I had a deposit down on an AK (GP WASR-10) for over a year, but then the unpleasantness in CT happened and the price tripled.

                    7. I am looking seriously at an SKS or another cheap 7.62.

                    8. The SKS is just as reliable and beat-up-able as an AK, it just doesn’t have the detachable magazine. Plus they’re cheap. Still, and AK is still more fun and is lighter. I want one, but only at a great price, and I’m patient.

                      Now, more shotguns…that’s where I have to restrain myself.

                    9. Well, space is at a premium. I have all of 600 SF of loft for holding all my shit. But I don’t think I will stop at two, just that the first purchase I want to be more immediately functional, with the more sportman/hobbyist purchases to follow at a later date when I have the extra money and space. I figure the most immediately functional arms would be a lightweight CCW and then something specific for home defense, which I like shotgun for but then worry about the spread going through walls and injuring neighbors.

                    10. Bird shot isn’t going through the walls. It all depends on what load you shoot.

                    11. Bird shot is a bad home defense choice, but a shot gun still won’t over-penetrate as dangerously as a full caliber pistol, when talking about risk to neighbors. Lack of stabilization.

                    12. Agree with Epi – at home why limit yourself to one option?

                      While contemplating that – also think about this – pump shotguns which load rounds with a loud “racking” sound are very useful deterrents without ever pointing or firing it.

                      IE – you hear someone opening your door – you rack the shotgun – my guess is they run at the sound alone.

                      Of course if you just want to shot them – then wait for them to come in and use a good weapon with a laser sight 🙂

                  2. Also, I should add that while I intend to get the CCW, I probably won’t carry often. The CCW is more for SHTF scenarios (our recent quakes in L.A. reminded me that I’m not far from Skid Row and the potential for looters should the big one occur). For the most part, it’ll be a home defense arm but I like the idea of being able to CC just in case.

                    But thank you all for the recommendations. I’ll take a serious look at the Kal-Tecs.

                    1. Keep your eye on the ads:
                      New one comes out tomorrow.

                      Turners’ sale is how I ended up with a decked out street sweeper for under $250. Folding stock, pistol grip, side saddle, etc… Lot of fun in the desert.

                    2. Playa, do you think they will bar people from getting a CCW in CA if they maintain possession of a medical mj card? It’s hard for me to believe that such wouldn’t be tried “for safety reasons” – you know, because a mildly psychoactive substance used as medicine is totally grounds for revocation of your 2A rights.

                      I guess all the Valium, Adderall, Perc and Oxy users are screwed, too.

                    3. If you admit to a medical MJ card, yes. Otherwise, no. To my knowledge, there is no database.

                      I take adderall, and I haven’t had any problems. There is no cross reference with the schedule II database. They just ask if you are “addicted” to any controlled substances….

              5. Get something you’ll actually carry. I have a Ruger LCP .380 and it (w/CT laser) fits in a pocket holster. Can tuck it in your back pocket and it looks like a wallet.

                I don’t know if I wouldn’t buy something else next time around, but it would be that size.

                1. Francisco nailed it. Get what you’re going to carry. The best gun in a bad situation is the one you brought. Not sure about in your area but most gun ranges let you rent pistols. Rent a couple and see what you think. If you really like one (a non-quantifiable characteristic called “shootability”) and it is concealable, go for it.

                  Don’t get hung up on caliber too much. The number of rounds used in most DGUs, is 2.X. That said, I wouldn’t go below .380.

                  As for home defense, it depends on a lot of things. But, since you’re in the PRC, I am not sure that my usual recommendation (an AR-15) makes a whole heck of a lot of sense. Again, rent a couple and see what you like. Shotguns are okay but don’t buy into the “You don’t even have to aim!” argument. It’s hooey.

  2. So you can send armed men to someone’s house and arrest them over a plant, because some *other* people were in car crashes?

  3. So, who is stupiderer, Feinstein or Boxer?

    1. Feinstein is self-serving and evil, but Boxer might actually be mentally retarded.

      Sarah Palin sounds eloquent in comparison.

  4. ” Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told the Associated Press she opposes marijuana legalization in her state partly because she worries about stoned drivers”

    I am utterly convinced that this issue was polled, and it turned out that women have some kind of utter irrational terror of the concept of “stoned drivers”; for whatever reason, Dem pols are just whipping this issue to death, and everyone who gets a chance brings it up. When they did the ‘drugs’ episode (last week?) I mentioned this and it was the first thing out of the mouth of the drug-warrior lady. The fact that there is virtually ZERO data on actual incidence of said “stoned driving”, or any data on actual relative impairment of being baked versus, say, amped on coffee while listening to talk radio, is really not relevant at all apparently. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE UBER ALLES.

    1. They’re just desperate and reaching for anything that hasn’t already been shown to be utter bunk. There’s not a lot left, but since weed was illegal, most people didn’t talk about “stoned driving” before. Now that’s it’s, uh, more legal in certain places, this is a new, “scary” talking point that is one of the few they hadn’t beaten past the point of usefulness yet. Don’t worry, they’re really good at hammering their own talking points into useless mush. Just give them a little time.

      1. Because when it was *illegal*, NO ONE drove while high.

        But now that you can buy it from a govt-licensed dealer? RAINBOW PARTIES WEST NILE VIRUS MEXICAN LEPERS WHUT!!

        nevermind that weed probably makes a large number of people *better* drivers. Except most chicks. Which is probably part of Feinsteins problem = she has distant memories of being in her VW van and going, “guys, shut up! really! Shut up! I seriously think that car is following us!”

    2. Polling sounds about right on this.

      “I don’t know what my position should be, what do the polls say?”

      Amoral bitch.

    3. Drunk driving is a backdoor way of reviving alcohol prohibition. Why wouldn’t the same people use stoned driving as a tactic to maintain marijuana prohibition?

  5. Dianne Feinstein also thinks that Adam Lanza ruins the second amendment for 359,999,999 other people.

    I see a common thread here.

  6. I think Feinstein is gunning for Biggest Scumbag in Senate. It’s like Best in Show except that it’s the exact opposite. She’s trying to overtake the likes of Chuck “you know what that rhymes with” Schumer.

    1. Oh come on, how does Reid not win in a walk?

      1. Reid’s like a more simmering level of scumbag. He’s always a scumbag, but he doesn’t roil over like Feinstein seems to do on a daily or weekly basis. Reid only says extremely stupid things, not bone-jarringly stupid things.

        We’re really just splitting hairs here.

        1. Nasty, grey, emotionless, withered principle-free hairs.

      2. Reid is evil but powerful. Feinstain is far more evil.

        1. Hermes Conrad: We can’t compete with Mom! Her company is big and evil! Ours is small and neutral!

          That Guy: Switzerland is small and neutral! We are more like Germany, ambitious and misunderstood!

          Amy Wong: Look, everyone wants to be more like Germany, but do we really have the pure strength of will?

          1. But does medical MJ cure boneitis?

            1. It stimulates your funny bone.

            1. Funny, I don’t remember that episode of Game of Thrones.

        2. Reid is evil but powerful. Feinstain is far more evil.

          Because she’s powerful but evil?

          1. She’s not very powerful relative to Reid. If she were in charge, things would be far worse. IMO.

        3. When you describe it like that it makes it hard for me to analogize one to the Emperor and the other to Vader.

          1. Vader was redeemable, not sure why.

    2. Stuck? Run amok?

      1. Bitch tits?

    3. Let’s think of it this way: if a powerful alien entity decided to stage a battle between good and evil using figures from United States politics, who would he choose for both sides?

      1. I dunno. Amash and Paul versus the other 533 members of Congress, the President and the Vice President?

      2. It’s a trick question. The correct answer is:

        Krugabe for Alien Vichy Overlord

        1. Alien rulers: “You really think it’s a good idea to launch nukes at every major city?”

          Krugabe: “Trust me! The rebuilding will help the economy and the people will love you!”

      3. Let’s think of it this way: if a powerful alien entity decided to stage a battle between good and evil using figures from United States politics, who would he choose for both sides?

        Dianne Feinstein and someone unelectable.

  7. Chuck “Moobs” Schumer better watch out or Feinstein just might pass him for the Biggest Douche in the Senate award.

  8. I find women doing their make up while driving far more dangerous.

    1. Are you trying to set me up?

      I find women doing their make up while driving far more dangerous.

      This is why…

      1. That too.

        Don’t drag ethnics into this.

        Not gonna do it. Nope. Not. Going. To. Bite.

        1. The 777 is the safest commercial airplane on the planet as long as the pilot isn’t from, ummm, somewhere.

    2. I actually saw one of those accidents happen. She broke her lipstick on her forehead when she rear-ended the Volvo in front of her.

      1. She broke her lipstick on her forehead when she rear-ended the Volvo in front of her.

        Who was the loser in this scenario?

        1. Insurance company. Both cars completely crumpled although she couldn’t have been doing more than 15mph.

          1. Man, that’s not the way Volvos were back in the good ol days…

  9. I hereby motion to change the official spelling to “Feinstain”.

      1. Feinkenstein would be better,

  10. Man, characters like Reid, Hagel, Kerry, Hilary, Feinstein, Boxer, Warren, Biden, Schumer, Deval Patrick, are comedy sketch gold. Yet, our comedic masters don’t seem all that interested in mocking them.

    They’d rather stay fixated on Bush and Palin and bore us to tears with that over played angle.

    McCain is hilarious because he reminds me of Cotton Hill.

      1. Clint Howard.


      2. BTW: Item on my bucket list:

        Get called to testify before a hostile senate committee and I get to say back to an indignant senator: “I think we’re forgetting the relationships here, you work for me…”

        1. That also works when you are getting arrested.

        2. Oh. SO MY DREAM!

          Just like it’s my dream to tell a PQ minister “I will speak to you in the language I CHOSE as a FREE CITIZEN.”

          Pequistes are infamous for demanding people talk to them ‘en francais.’

          1. “I worked really hard for this French”

    1. McCain is hilarious because he reminds me of Cotton Hill.

      “I killed fitty men!”

      1. ‘Hank’s wife!’

        1. As in, calls Peggy ‘Hank’s wife.’

          1. No kidding.

            I think Rufus got no shins.

  11. When drunk, I have to remind myself that driving is a bad idea.

    When stoned, I have to remind myself that… wait, what was I saying? I’m supposed to be going somewhere?

    1. White Castle? I could really go for some sliders and a coke.

      1. I have those in my freezer. I just add costco bacon and my homemade 1000 Islands (ketchup, relish, and mayo) , and I’m pretty happy.

    2. Indica or sativa?…

      1. Dianne Feinstein Says Stoned Drivers Ruins Marijuana Legalization everything for Everyone.


      2. Oh and Sativa.

        1. Sativa is the strain of marijuana that has a psychedelic component that warps your perception of time, enhances colors, and makes notes of music stand out one-by-one.

          Indica makes you numb.

          We’re talking about marijuana, right?

          1. I’ve spent years selecting out most of the indica characteristics, the only one I find useful in breeding is it’s tendency towards early maturation.

  12. Feinstein offered another reason for opposing marijuana legalization:

    She said serving on the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole during the 1960s allowed her to see how marijuana, in her view, led to bigger problems for many female inmates.

    Problems like being incarcerated, and then kept in prison by a douchebag who later became a U.S. Senator?

  13. Obama’s bracket…..?id=694062

  14. Yeah, we can’t have drivers that are actually NOT driving 20 miles over the speed limit, can we? Oh, that evil weed.
    And yeah, blame the texting, not the weed. I can’t believe that people still think its OK to write letters while they drive.

  15. Want to read at 600 WPM?

    Click on the circle that says click to spritz.

  16. Dude is clearly on the ball over there.

  17. Its time for this Crone to head off into the sunset, taking Jerry Brown with her. This relic wants to keep MJ illegal because she’s too ignorant and lazy to find out the truth. Instead, she’s happy to legislate, using propaganda and lies as her foundation.

  18. And out-of-touch ignoramuses like Diane Feinstein ruin marijuana legalization for everyone by spouting off lies and myths and encouraging her buddies at the NSA to illegally share information with the DEA.

  19. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.