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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Roadside drug tests wrongly target cannabis users

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It is absolutely absurd that there is no legal level of THC allowable by law in the saliva or the bloodstream when driving – as there is with that much more dangerous drug, alcohol.

Even the slightest trace of THC – which I’m told can be detected from a smoke many hours, days or even a week previously – will get you convicted of Driving Under the Influence.

You’ll lose your licence, perhaps your job, get fined, and perhaps even face gaol time.

And in the absence of an allowable level, there should be an impairment test for people who test positive for THC in their systems, if they’re picked up in a random roadside test without having driven erratically or broken any road laws.

Surely these roadside testing units could have a driving simulator – basically a car seat and a computer game coupled to a steering wheel and pedals – which can test your reaction times, and test whether you correctly handle on-screen simulations of sudden driving emergencies.
 (The same simulator could work in cases of alcohol readings over the permitted limits.)

As a cannabis user for many years, I am convinced that I was safer behind the wheel having had a smoke rather than being straight.

I was so much more focused on the driving and so much more attuned as regards my senses. Calmer and therefore less likely to speed.

More focused on the process of getting there, than on the destination. My eyes continually scanned the road ahead, and looked further ahead than otherwise – arguably the best way of avoiding accidents.

When driving while straight, I often found myself on auto-pilot, in charge of the car well enough, but totally unfocused on the driving – my mind a million miles away.

My gaze sometimes drifted off the road, and I was driving with not much more than peripheral vision. No problems, until the unexpected happens.

When straight, my speeds tended to drift up to around 10-20k over the limit, whereas when stoned I scrupulously observed speed limits.

When, Oh when are our politicians going to grow some brains and stop demonising this herb?

William Randolph Hearst and Harry Anslinger are two Americans from the 1930s who have a huge burden of guilt for the way they’ve destroyed or damaged so many lives worldwide, and enriched so many criminals and corrupt officials in getting almost all countries of the world to declare it illegal.

George Lewin, Montecollum


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2 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t agree with the people who come out and say, “I drive better when I’m stoned!”

    Over-confidence in ones abilities is not an excuse to drive while under the influence of a drug.

    Driving or operating any heavy machinery should always be approached with absolute caution and without potentially impairing substances.

    However, cannabis users are unfairly targeted as impairment is NOT what police are testing for. It wouldn’t matter if someone smoked a joint and went for a drive or ate an edible on a Friday night and then went to drive to work Monday. Both have a similar level of risk of getting caught and charged. This means that police aren’t making the roads safer – They are ambiguously punishing people for taking a substance, invading their privacy and bodily autonomy to gain that evidence and then punishing them under the false pretense of ‘dangerous on roads’ where no evidence to prove impairment exists.

    Stoners – Please don’t use the, “Buuuutt I drive better when I’m stoned” argument. Even if it were empirically true (which is… questionable), it makes you sound like a complete f’n idiot to everyone else. Don’t drive drunk. Don’t drive stoned. Plan yourself better and hold off if you need to drive somewhere. But, do fight back against the unfairness of these tests… they are unfair, they are invading your privacy rights, they are unfairly incriminating you!

    Know where you battles lay!

  2. So basically I have no way of telling if I will pass a rsdt after consuming cannabis days beforehand?

    I could use some cannabis on say a Friday arvo and if I was pulled over and saliva tested on say Sunday or even Monday I could fail the test and face fines, lose of license and who knows what else, even though there is no way I would be stoned or impaired at all to drive….

    All the while a person on heroin, cocaine or any pharmaceutical drug would pass a rsdt with flying colours even if they had only had any (or all) of those drugs in the prior hour or two.

    What an insane and stupid method of testing people for some drugs and not others.

    I’ve also heard many people are option to use ice and research chemicals more now as it apparently goes from your system much faster than the thc from weed does…

    I am totally gob smacked and I wonder who is actually making these stupid decisions? There needs to be some serious changes to the law to allow cannabis for use in a recreational environment and a way to test for impairment only I think. Weed is so much safer and less harmful for the user and the community than alcohol, so why arent we allowed to use it.. Or buy it, or grow it? Dont we all wont less agro and violence? Dont we wont to lower the drinking and ice usage rates? Then allow cannabis!

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