MARIJUANA’S LEGALIZATION - THE COSTS AND BENEFITS TO OKLAHOMA TAXPAYERS
ADDENDUM - A
FINANCIAL IMPACT REPORT
Auto Club logo - X's out due to copy-write laws
AN OPEN RESPONSE LETTER TO
The following is an open response/letter to the “AAA” (American Automobile Association) regarding your editorial Hit Piece against the re-legalization of Medical Marihuana. It is going to be printed up (also posted on the internet) as part of a larger report to the Oklahoma State legislature on the economic impact on our state revenues of re-legalization.
If you feel that something (anything) is in error, please let me know. Also in the INTEREST OF FREE SPEECH, if you wish you may submit a response letter of your own giving your side of the issue. Rest assured that it will not be edited, nor will some slanted reply to your reply added on somehow. It will simply be posted as your reply with no comment on our part. But please keep it to no more than two regular printed pages.
Member, Oklahoma Voters League.
-- Our motto, we’re pro-medical Cannabis and we vote.
Correspondence with Oklahoma’s branch of the “American Automobile Association.”
DOES MARIJUANA AFFECT ONES ABILITY TO SAFELY DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE?
Contrary to what most people think, Marihuana of and by itself, when used under normal medical dosages, DOES NOT seem to affect ones abilities to safely drive an automobile. Proof of that lies in the following question, asked of anyone who states/implies that it does.
“DO YOU HAVE ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS THAT IT DOES?"
And here it is made clear that we are asking for some kind of actual scientific studies that will stand up to the light of day.
The response is universal. The average person usually replies with a; “No, but I’m sure that such evidence exists.” However, when the question is posed to a Narcotics Official (someone who knows better), their reply is also universal. They turn around and walk away, knowing full well that no such animal exists. And it doesn’t.
Simply put, after years and years of studies, after spending, who knows how much trying to establish a solid link; -- nothing. They can point to NO SCIENCE (none that will stand up to the light of day anyway), that shows that it does. In fact, as embarrassing as this might be for them, some of the science seems to point in the opposite direction.
But be that as it may, for good or for bad, the prohibitionists, many of them with the badge of authority (example: those within the AAA), claim otherwise. And people accept their word as gospel truths, without even bothering to do any fact checking. -- The case below is one such case. According to those running Oklahoma’s “Triple-A” it does; --- but where is their proof?
The following consists of bits and pieces of correspondence with the “AAA”, but with nothing being taken out of context.
SUBJECT: AAA Request for help
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:53 PM
[name withheld] I am seeking your assistance. The letter (below) a sort of counter article to allow the truth to be told, I feel is self-explanatory. However as of this time I have not had any feedback from your local Oklahoma affiliate on the matter so I can only presume that they have no intention of publishing my reply article. Which is why I am seeking your assistance. And granted it the “Triple-A” does have a history of dishing out false articles on the subject; Example:
“ . . in marijuana’s wake follow the potentialities that cause civilizations to totter—crime, insanity, suicide, murder. Marijuana is regarded as the nation’s greatest dope menace today. . . “ --- Official AAA publication (Car Owner) May/June 1938
Still, it is shocking that to see that such things are still (if in a somewhat more tranquilized form) still coming out of the “Triple-A”.
Please if there is anything that you can do to (I guess) shame them into allowing the truth to be heard, I would greatly appreciate your assistance on the matter.
PS- I have no doubt that our local chapter will probably tell you that they do not wish to engage in politics, but if so, then why did they become engaged in the first place.
VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR:
TIME TO END THE LIES
The Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Oklahoma’s official AAA Magazine “Home & Away” carried a very unfavorable Editorial article dealing with the subject of Marihuana and Driving Safety. One implying that re-legalizing Medical Marihuana would in some way lead to traffic safety issues.
A subject that (given the push to allow medical patients access to Marihuana) is obviously quite controversial, and one that due to time restraints, I will not be able to fully address at this time. However, the gist of the issue is quite simple; ----“Does Marihuana (under normal medical dosages) impair your ability to safely drive an automobile? That answer is NO. And if one needs any proof, just ask a prohibitionist to provide you with any scientific studies (one’s that can stand up to the light of day) that says otherwise.
They simply can’t, probably because none exist. And if one’s still a doubting Thomas, just look at the Triple-A’s editorial-article in question. One which relies heavily on a Washington State study claiming that there are more Marihuana DUI drivers involved in accidents now then before re-legalized in that state. A study which, let’s be frank, is junk science at its best. But you decide:
The study itself admits that they deliberately lowered (cut-in-half actually) the amount of Marihuana within the blood necessary to qualify one as a DUI driver. This was done just as Marihuana was re-legalized. (meaning they moved the goal post downward quite a bit)
The study also admitted that BEFORE re-legalization, NOT ALL suspected DUI drivers were being tested for Marihuana, but that AFTER re-legalization ALL now were. (meaning they increased the numbers they were now testing)
So small wonder they were able to come out with greater numbers. But the worst abuses laid in the way the study made use of the math; which relied upon incredibly small number tallies for its conclusions. Something any accountant can tell you, should never be done. Simply put the smaller the data numbers, the easier it is to come up with false conclusions (and/or deliberate manipulations). Example: Statistics (taken from the report) between 2011 and 2012, show that there was a whopping 85% increase in Marihuana DUI drivers. -- Which sounds shocking, until one notices that this 85% increase was composed entirely of 5 extra drivers,
And as if to add insult to injury, the study provides no evidence that the incredibly microscopically levels they were testing for within the blood, in any way-shape-or-form, actually affected ones ability to safely drive an automobile. In all probability the figures were chosen for political not practical reasons.
IN OTHER WORDS, the study being quoted was nothing more than JUNK SCIENCE. So much so that even the “National AAA” has long ago distanced itself from it.
The editorial article (part of which consisted of a letter) goes on to tell about a woman allegedly killed by a 19-yr-old Marihuana addict. The problem with that argument is simple; -- If Marihuana was indeed the cause of the accident and as (according to the latest pew poll) 10% of individuals within that age group regularly use Marihuana. Then why don’t we hear about a whole-lot more such incidents? -- The answer is obvious, thus, NO, I do not believe we can blame Marihuana for a lousy driver; who probably would have been a lousy driver no matter what.
Look, without doubt, this is a controversial issue, but let’s face it. There are some out there who have political as opposed to practical reasons for maintaining the prohibition. I myself make no bones about having an agenda, one that came into being when a friend of mind, Joyce who I still remember as a kind and loving person, died of Cancer. Now as a Christian, I believe it is my duty to alleviate human suffering wherever possible. And after seeing what Marihuana did for Joyce in her last days, it didn’t take a genius to say that there is something wrong with both our drug as well as our medical laws.
Andrew Garret is with a pro-Medical Cannabis group.
A reply editorial letter which was never published by the way. However, there were many back and forth communications that took place. The following is a good example of the replies. Unfortunately they all sound like someone repeating a meaningless “polly-want’s-a-cracker” like mantra, but providing no proof thereof:
“Funny? Crashes caused by drivers who are under the influence of cannabis are anything but funny. Ask the victims. Please understand AAA's position: we do not condone driving impaired. Yes, it is that simple. You insist on bringing in tangential arguments but let's be very clear here: We do not believe driving under the influence of cannabis is safe. That's our only horse in this race: traffic safety.
Our own replies kept addressing this “Polly-Want’s-A-Cracker” mantra, factor, asking for proof.
Again, please do not write to me again. I shall delete any further communications.
AGAIN STOP THAT . . . if there was any proof that Cannabis (under normal usage) effected your ability to drive an auto safely, I'm sure that there would be some science out there by now, proving that to be the case. Yet nothing; At least nothing (as you have seen with that Washington State Study) that can stand up to the light of day. This is especially true as the narcotics police are running around desperately looking for a reason to keep the laws in place. --- Your personal position (which I pray is NOT that of the AAA) must therefore be called into question.
According to DOT-HS-808-078, one of many such studies conducted by our own Department of Transpiration, actually even (after giving marihuana to drivers) measured its effects, and came to the conclusion that it DID NOT IMPAIR YOUR ABILITY to safely drive a car. It even translated its results into a Blood Alcohol equivalent; --- Which did not go over that magical 0.08. *
But try as we might, it appears that no proof of their statements was were ever forthcoming.
NOW [name withheld], Do Cannabis Drivers get into accidents. . . ? Probably yes, just like people who drink water get into accidents? Just like people who drink milk get into accidents, but somehow I don't think we should blame the problem on water or milk. – So what gives?
Look [name withheld], just keep in mind that the original idea of the "Brown Skin Marijuana laws” was to prevent blacks/browns from voting. It had little to do with automobile safety.
I replete what I wrote previously: –
“. . what you’ve done is unspeakable and anything but funny. You’ve used the good name of the AAA, a highly respected organization to assist in your political agenda. And you used (how shall I politely put it), untruthful statements to do so. Don’t you understand that people believe what a “Respected Organization” like the triple-A says on face value.
[name withheld], once more, please publish my counter article – It’s the same length as your original one, and balances things out with the truth.
In effect, you’re using false and misleading information to give credence to the maintenance of some very bad laws. An excuse to keep them in place. IS THAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO? I feel that it is more than fair that you publish my reprint article. Your readers have a right to know the truth.”
PS – thanks for putting up with my bad spell, grammar if any, had to respond in a hurry.
* Note that there are various other studies conducted by governmental groups such as our Federal Department of Transportation (D.O.T.), which essentially say the same thing. Marihuana, while it does impair ones motor skills, simply does not do so enough to impair ones ability to SAFELY DRIVE.
WANT TO KNOW MORE:
Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed. If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum. All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.