Your Views for March 27


Driving while stoned

“Stoned driving draws concern” (Tribune-Herald, March 19) is of great interest, particularly to Hawaii’s cannabis patients. The article mentions a suburban Denver woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis. She needs cannabis to ease tremors which require that her body be completely saturated with THC.

Wisely, she does not smoke and drive, but a new saliva test pushed by police to determine impairment would always test her positive for being stoned.

Since measuring in this way is inaccurate in determining a driver’s level of impairment, it is another way of placing the patient and all in harm’s way of the law.

This is another erosion of our privacy rights. Patients should not, of course, drive stoned because of the common sense of not adding possible additional risks to an already dangerous activity. But this is not so because it is based on statistical evidence or crash history.

In fact, evidence to date in crash culpability studies has failed to demonstrate a significant difference between drivers with THC in their blood and drug-free drivers as contributors to accidents and highway deaths.

Driving impaired while under the influence of alcohol, “ice” and prescription drugs, on the other hand, is the largest contributor to accidents and deaths in this country and in this county.

We have all experienced the weaving drunk or the bat-out-of-hell meth driver. On the other hand, you may never notice the cautious and courteous driver lightly dosed on cannabis on the road.

This is, of course, not 100 percent always the case, but for a former drug czar to say that there is “terrible carnage … on the roads caused by marijuana” is extremely untrue and inaccurate and has no facts to back it up.

Google “driving stoned” (not while driving). Get the facts, and demand the truth be told.

Andrea Tischler

Hilo

‘Once upon a time’

Mahalo to Mr. Paul Damien for your letter on March 23 (Tribune-Herald, Your Views). You hit the nail on the head regarding some people’s attitude. Our local community has always respected the mixed cultures that have made this state their home. The state was a different place, “once upon a time.”

Because of the endless changes due to politics, the changes won’t stop. But attitudes can and should be changed in a positive manner. I am grateful and feel honored to be part of this island and have the utmost respect for Hawaii nei.

Lynise Tarring

Kurtistown