The congressional grey hairs of the GOP met earlier in the week to point fingers at states that have legalized marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes because the consensus believes increased access to cannabis is responsible for killing citizens along the roadways of America.
Driving high was the topic of a congressional hearing in Washington on Thursday, which in a typical Republican attempt at humor, was given the title, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned.” During the proceedings, Representative John Mica, chairman of the Government Operations Subcommittee, demanded the implementation of stricter policies on states that have legalized marijuana before more follow in their footsteps.
Reaching into his bag of Reefer Madness, Representative John Fleming told the committee that ever since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado, the state has experienced an upsurge in fatal car accidents as the result of stoned driving. He then went on to claim that the fate of the American youth was at stake because the country has gone soft on stoners.
“As marijuana is de-stigmatized, use goes up, and it finds its way into the homes and candy and cookies and baked goods, and once it gets there, it finds its way into the brains of teens,” said Fleming. “Marijuana will also become more pervasive as states continue to embrace permissible laws on medical marijuana and the recreational use of marijuana, and kids and youth will have easier access to the dangerous, addictive drug.”
Despite the controversy surrounding roadside drug testing, the committee discussed the need to impose federal standards for stoned driving. During this debate, representative Mica suggested the United States employ the swab method used by European law enforcement. However, those who opposed the idea argued there has not been enough research conducted to successfully implement a nationwide policy on drug testing.
“We make policy based on science. We cannot make changes without the science,” testified Patrice Kelly, who oversees the alcohol and drug policy for the Department of Transportation.
That lack of scientific evidence, Fleming proclaims, should be reason enough for states to think twice about repealing their marijuana laws. “Until we have the science, we should be careful and cautious,” he said.
Regardless of the swill that spits out of pot propaganda machines across the country, legalized marijuana has not caused an increase in marijuana-related traffic accidents and deaths. In fact, the Colorado State Police claim that since recreational marijuana sales began in January, they have not been forced to deal with any more incidents related to stoned driving than before. “I have personally not seen more stoned drivers, not arrested more stoned drivers,” Colorado State Trooper J.J. Wolff, who trains officers to spot impaired driving, told USA Today. “From my point of view, that’s good.”