16 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Magistrate warns drivers of cannabis effects

Latest News

Fast Buck$ ejected from Byron Council meeting

During this morning's Byron Shire Council meeting a dispute between the Mayor Simon Richardson and local activist and agitator Fast Buck$ over the pronunciation of Cr Sarah Ndiaye's name led to the meeting being suspended.

Other News

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only...

Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by...

Electricity ‘fun facts’

Anonymous, Ballina I’m surprised that a part of David Lowe’s online article of March 15 slipped under the fact-check radar (‘Tamara Smith...

Eungella: Alleged domestic-related stabbing suspect charged with attempted murder

Police say a man will face court today charged with attempted murder following an alleged domestic-related stabbing earlier this year.

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Lismore Local Court
Lismore Local Court

A Lismore magistrate today warned drivers that cannabis could stay in their system for up to 20 days after smoking it. Magistrate Jeff Linden issued the caution after dealing with three drivers caught driving with an illicit drug in their system.

Two of the drivers claimed to have smoked a joint the night before while one was using cannabis for pain relief. Mark William Lumsdaine of East Lismore pleaded guilty to driving with cannabis present in his blood on 22 March.

The Lismore local court heard that he had smoked a joint a couple of days before, which was something he did to deal with the pain from a back injury.

After reading submissions from Mr Lumsdaine’s doctor, Magistrate Linden said ‘I accept that he has got pain but cannabis is illegal’. ‘There is ample evidence to suggest he has an injury to his back and there is no suggestion that he was detected for poor driving’, he said.

Mr Linden recorded no conviction and placed him on a 12 month bond.

Two other drivers admitted to smoking cannabis the night before being detected. Chad Marshall of Rock Valley was detected by police driving in Hindmarsh Street in Lismore on 22 March. He told police he had been to a party the night before when a joint was passed around and he had thought it was a cigarette.

Douglas Alan Jones of Bexhill also told police he had smoked cannabis in a joint the night before being detected but had thought it would be out of his system the following day.

Magistrate Linden recorded no conviction against either driver and also placed them on 12-month good behavior bonds.

Another Lismore magistrate David Heilpern recently raised the difficulties of sentencing motorists caught with cannabis in their system.

He said there was no evidence that smoking cannabis in days or weeks prior affected a driver’s ability.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Why does most everyone jump to the automatic, knee-jerk, and FALSE assumption that cannabis impairs drivers much the same as does alcohol? Why let uninformed opinions be the basis of new laws? It took me very little time to do a search, and find actual scientific studies which indicate just how incorrect such an assumption is. Examples follow.

    Studies Show Marijuana Consumption Not Associated With Dangerous Driving, May Lead to Safer Drivers
    Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Many people find that it makes them a safer, more focused driver; one that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident. To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results.
    http://thejointblog.com/studies-shows-marijuana-consumption-not-associated-with-dangerous-driving-may-lead-to-safer-drivers/

    Marijuana and Driving: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
    “Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. Below is a summary of some of the existing data.”
    http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scientific-evidence

    The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers
    “There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”
    REFERENCE: Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    Report No. DOT HS 808 065, K. Terhune. 1992.
    http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/26000/26600/26685/DOT_HS_808_065.pdf

    Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance
    “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution. .. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
    REFERENCE: University of Adelaide study, 1995
    http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/driving/s1p2.htm

    Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes
    “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.”
    REFERENCE: Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies; Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232, A. Smiley. 1999.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10682259

    “Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a ‘change’ from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect ‘impairment’ in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk.”
    REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division). 2000.
    /http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme3/cannabisanddrivingareviewoft4764?page=12

    Cannabis And Cannabinoids – Pharmacology, Toxicology And Therapy
    “At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven”.
    REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002.
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoids%20-%20Pharmacology,Toxicology%20And%20Therapy.pdf

    Cannabis: Our position for a Canadian Public Policy
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. This in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002.
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/371/ille/rep/summary-e.htm

    “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.”
    REFERENCE: Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002
    Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, edited by Franjo Grotenhermen, MD and Ethan Russo, MD (Haworth Press 2002).
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoids%20-%20Pharmacology,Toxicology%20And%20Therapy.pdf

    The Prevalence of Drug Use in Drivers, and Characteristics of the Drug-Positive Group
    “There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone.”
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention 32(5): 613-622. Longo, MC; Hunter, CE; Lokan, RJ; White, JM; and White, MA. (2000a).
    http://www.grotenhermen.com/driving/longo1.pdf

    The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving
    “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

    Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths
    “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,”
    REFERENCE: Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-traffic-deaths/

    Top 10 Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers
    “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.”
    http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers/

    Risk of severe driver injury by driving with psychoactive substances
    “The study found that those with a blood alcohol level of 0.12% were over 30 times more likely to get into a serious accident than someone who’s consumed any amount of cannabis. .. The least risky drug seemed to be cannabis and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.”
    REFERENCE: Accident Analysis & Prevention; Volume 59, October 2013, Pages 346–356
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457513002315

    Cannabis: Summary Report
    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.”
    REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoids%20-%20Pharmacology,Toxicology%20And%20Therapy.pdf

    Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk
    “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.”
    REFERENCE: British Medical Journal, 1999; M. Bates and T. Blakely

    Marijuana-DUI Case Tossed by Arizona Supreme Court in Metabolite Ruling
    “Because the legislature intended to prevent impaired driving, we hold that the ‘metabolite’ reference in [the law] is limited to any of a proscribed substance’s metabolites that are capable of causing impairment . . . Drivers cannot be convicted of the . . . offense based merely on the presence of a non-impairing metabolite that may reflect the prior usage of marijuana.”
    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2014/04/marijuana-dui_case_tossed_by_a.php

  2. The magistrate points out correctly that cannabis may be detected up to 20 or 30 days. However any possible effect on driving or working is well over in a few hours or after a meal and a sleep. There has to be a test that says the level of intoxication will impair ability to drive or work safely, not just that cannabis has been consumed.

  3. Cannabis should not be outlawed at all. It is a healing plant that has served as mankinds companion plant for centuries and has been responsible for exactly zero deaths in its well over 5000 years of recorded use.

    Magna Carta, Ch 61 Lawful Rebellion: When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty

    The outlawing of cannabis constitutes a crime against humanity. Any government that supports the continued prohibition of cannabis is a criminal government and any politician that supports it should be charged with abuse of office and human rights violations… simple

  4. This could only happen in the Northern Rivers!
    I don’t think most people will agree with the magistrate. Seems clear to me any substance that delivers a heightened sense of false, soporific well-being, or even at worst, psychotic effects in some, has to be dangerous when a smoker gets behind the wheel. This should be further investigated, otherwise we’re going to see more and more of these people on the roads, sufficiently secure in the knowledge that they’ll get off with a 1 year good behaviour bond.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.