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posted by Dopefish on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the count-on-a-politician-to-write-a-stupid-law dept.

Ellis D. Tripp writes "The California state assembly is considering a new bill aimed at reducing the incidence of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID). The proposed law would make it a criminal act to operate a motor vehicle with ANY detectable level of ANY Schedule I through IV drug in your bloodstream. Not only does this include many prescription drugs, but it would also include substances such as gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), n,n-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and testosterone, all of which are controlled substances, and also happen to occur naturally in the human body.

Whether an intentional attempt to create a law to be used selectively against anyone the cops want to arrest, or just an example of the gross ignorance of basic science among US legislators, laws like this are sure to be on the rise as prosecutors and police seek to retain power in the face of efforts to legalize marijuana and begin rolling back the abuses of the War on Drugs."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mrwizrd on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:37PM

    by mrwizrd (2299) on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:37PM (#7912)

    The politicians who submitted this bill probably didn't think through the implications of including all scheduled drugs within the scope of the amended bill and just listed everything because it sounds tough and makes a good sound bite. Unfortunately, the text of the law ("You may not drive whilst your body contains detectable levels of several prescription medications or naturally occurring compounds which happen to also be controlled substances if you should synthesise or otherwise obtain them.") and the intent of the law ("We're going to completely ban people from driving whilst having any amount of controlled drugs or alcohol in their body!") are two very different things; and people tend not to think of their prescription medication as something which could run them afoul of the law.

    "But I only wanted to ban bad drugs!"

    Tools, like chemicals, can be used for both good and ill. It just depends on who is doing the deed and what their intentions are.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:20PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:20PM (#7931)

    The politicians who submitted this bill probably didn't think through the implications

    You're being very charitable. The politicians who submitted the bill probably didn't even read it.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:54PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:54PM (#7946)
      And your being generous, the politicians who submitted the bill probably didn't even think (or cant)

      These days I feel most politicians, once elected, have only two things active in their brain, (1) keep my job, (2) get more money. There is no room for anything else. Read a bill, no time for I have to attend a dinner to raise money to keep me elected. Take time to truly understand an issue? Sorry citizen, I am to busy fighting to keep people not like us away, please give me money. Help to enforce regulations that effect your constituents? Please, who gives me more money, thus more power? But thank you for your vote.

      I don't know what is worse, that we have human beings that run for office who believe in creationism, who think science is subjective, who believe that only certain people should have rights, or ... human beings that actually vote for them. Driving to work this morning, listening to NPR News I had the thought, extinction is a probable outcome for our species, because we seem to be the only species that enthusiastically goes about destroying its self for no other reason then our ego. From these Bozos in CA to people like Putin and Assad, they share the common action of Me first, even it it kills Me.

      (only one cup of coffee, I'll get happier later)
      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 2) by dotdotdot on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:02PM

        by dotdotdot (858) on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:02PM (#8046)

        You're being very charitable. The politicians who submitted the bill probably didn't even read it.

        And your being generous, the politicians who submitted the bill probably didn't even think (or cant)

        And yer being benevolent; the politicians who submitted the bill probably didn't drink their coffee either (or talk hypocritically or speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar [reference.com]).

        I kid, I kid! We're having fun here, no? ;)

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by bucc5062 on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:33PM

          by bucc5062 (699) on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:33PM (#8064)

          Now that you point it out, perhaps that was a Freudian slip such that while I never knew that word consciously, it was in my sub-conscious waiting to be used in regards to politicians. Politicians cant...such a true statement as a default. Wonderful what I learn here. :)

          --
          The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by jmoschner on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:09PM

      by jmoschner (3296) on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:09PM (#7986)

      The politicians who submitted the bill introduced a similar measure last year, but it was defeated.

      Plus just because a bill has been submitted doesn't mean that it will pass or that it won't be gutted or re-written before being passed.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Ellis D. Tripp on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:19PM

        by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Thursday February 27 2014, @03:19PM (#7994)

        But why was the original bill defeated? Because of its fundamental unworkability, or some other factor?

        If it was previously shot down for being so broad as to make any driver a criminal, and was reintroduced without removing that provision, then the odds of that provision being a an intentional "feature" of the law, and not simply a "bug" goes way up....

        --
        "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by sgleysti on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:23PM

    by sgleysti (56) on Thursday February 27 2014, @05:23PM (#8056)

    Yes, and consider Modafinil, which is schedule 4 and promotes wakefulness. Or any of the other drugs used in EDS and narcolepsy: amphetamine, methylphenidate, fencamfamine, etc. All of these help people be more alert and awake.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:50PM

    by edIII (791) on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:50PM (#8097)

    You know, just for once, I'm going to go with there was no bad intent.

    They are trying to copy Colorado, but just failed miserably.

    The law is actually a really great law in spirit. I get stoned several times a month as it is my preferred method of relaxation, however, I am not under the delusion that is proper for me in any way to operate machinery. I accept that I am impaired to the point where I need to not be doing things like running lawn mowers, taking out appendixes, or operating a multi-ton vehicle around other people.

    Where it differs from Colorado is that it doesn't specify minimum levels in the blood, and it doesn't specify that levels due to medical conditions are exempted, and it specifies chemical substances that have never been show to create any levels of impairment, and it doesn't differentiate enough between active forms in the blood and byproducts of them being broken down. I think testosterone was included simply because of "roid rage" possibly turning into road rage.

    We actually need these laws to push forward legalization of marijuana. Once it becomes legal, we need a sophisticated law that makes it illegal to be stoned while driving, but legal to have certain types and levels of THC, CBD, CBN, etc.

    California for some reason is trying to create a single law that covers way too many chemicals, and in a very simplistic way at that.

    Let people rage and then let the politicians come back after talking to scientists *again*.

    This is California after all. If there is any state that has no resources left to fight the War on Drugs, it's them. They just don't need to stop the War on Drugs because it's the right thing to do, they need to stop because they're fucking broke as shit.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 1) by demonlapin on Friday February 28 2014, @01:32AM

      by demonlapin (925) on Friday February 28 2014, @01:32AM (#8198) Journal
      There's a really simple way to ban driving while high. Put a video camera in the police cruiser and point it out the front window. Do a field sobriety test. Record the audio of the conversation between suspect and officer. And if they're high, take them to court and let a jury of their peers decide whether or not they were capable of operating a vehicle.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Acabatag on Friday February 28 2014, @02:44AM

        by Acabatag (2885) on Friday February 28 2014, @02:44AM (#8219)

        We have the modern technology to design and deploy a 'Fit To Drive' testing device. Some sort of handheld device, perhaps along the lines of a Nintendo 3DS Game Player, that a police officer can hand to someone suspected of impaired driving. The device can detect motor response and eye-hand coordination. Perhaps it would need to be more than a 'device.' Say, a 'virtual reality' seat in the back of the police car to preform the motor-response testing. Get a high enough score in the 'game' or you're arrested.

        Problems with this include the fact that there are people out driving on the road who are incapable of driving safely while cold sober. We would need to deal with the fact that said people need to be taken off the road as much as any 'druggie' or 'drunk.'

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday February 28 2014, @04:05AM

          by edIII (791) on Friday February 28 2014, @04:05AM (#8257)

          Good fucking luck with that nonsense of a testing device.

          Not every Senator would be capable of driving... or certain Presidents.....

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ellis D. Tripp on Friday February 28 2014, @04:18AM

            by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Friday February 28 2014, @04:18AM (#8261)

            Plus the fact that such an impartial testing device might reveal that some percentage of the subjects are able to drive perfectly well despite being high. And something like that simply isn't acceptable when there's a culture war to be waged...

            --
            "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
        • (Score: 2) by Khyber on Friday February 28 2014, @05:17AM

          by Khyber (54) on Friday February 28 2014, @05:17AM (#8289) Journal

          "We have the modern technology to design and deploy a 'Fit To Drive' testing device"

          No, we do not. You cannot determine whether that 200ng/dL THC content came from today or last night.

          Sorry, technology doesn't work the way you think it does with regards to biology.

          --
          Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ellis D. Tripp on Friday February 28 2014, @11:43AM

            by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Friday February 28 2014, @11:43AM (#8427)

            We have the technology to determine if a driver is currently IMPAIRED. "Fitness-For-Duty" testing devices are already in use in workplaces that care more about actual workplace safety issues than just perpetuating the drug war:

            http://www.pmifit.com/ [pmifit.com]

            The "problems" from a political POV are that such a device would flag many people who are tired, stressed out, aged, or just plain lousy drivers, etc. and pose as much or more of a hazard on the road as drunks or druggies, but haven't previously been a target of police crackdowns. This might even include people who support "tough on drugs" legislation or other political grandstanding, at least until they find themselves in the crosshairs. The other political problem with such tests is that if a test subject is able to "handle their alcohol" (or weed, or pills, or whatever) and tests OK, there would be no legal justification for taking them off the road. And think of the message that would send "TO THE CHILDREN!"

            --
            "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
            • (Score: 2) by Khyber on Friday February 28 2014, @11:19PM

              by Khyber (54) on Friday February 28 2014, @11:19PM (#8878) Journal

              "We have the technology to determine if a driver is currently IMPAIRED."

              No, you do not. Impairment may be a hardline set limit, but with regards to regular biology, no, it does not work that way.

              And it shows as much in any trial, except for truly drunk fools.

              You could not tell if I was too high to drive a mere two minutes after smoking a joint or bowl (and I do, regularly, to relive pain, and I still operate forklifts.)

              --
              Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.