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Monday, October 29, 2012

Would You Like to Know Why I'm Wrong?

Posted by on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Hempfester-Jack'sFriend wants to tell you why I'm wrong. He read my my story about I-502 and left this comment (brackets and all) explaining why you should vote no on I-502:

4327447P_f90bf1a689-magnum.jpg
If passed no one will be able to afford medicine. This is the sheep in wolfs clothing if ever I've seen it. Who will be able to afford 1 oz or 1lb? [currently 1oz $200-$260 & 1LB $1800 - $3200] no one.. because of the 25% tax for each: producers; processors & retailers - add that up and whatta get? OH back to the Black Market era [all those dried up ex-dealers -WAKE UP GUYS — HIGH PRICES ARE BACK!! You're in biz again!!] So voting yes will create more arrests through the guise of Suspicion of being under the influence. My friend who took 1 puff after several years of non-smoking was tested the following day [20 hours later] & tested at 40 Nanograms - 1 PUFF.. welcome to "perpetually Under The Influence" .. sad Dom you think of yourself and not about all the people you will put in jail, Label Criminal and the Families you will ruin. Thanks for your Quick to judge Yes vote - you're clearly lost! and I personally no longer support the stranger, its full of selfish folks who really don't get it! Devils in the details .. pay attention! FOLKS .. DO NOT RELY ON ME OR DOM TELLING YOU .. Go Read The Entire Initiative For Yourself!! DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS!!

Posted by Hempfester-Jack'sFriend on October 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Sheep. Wearing wolf suits!

 

Comments (68) RSS

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1
"Sheep in wolf's clothing"? That's the best stonerism in ages. In any case, more like man arms in a lady dress, amirite?
Posted by gloomy gus on October 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
yelahneb 2
The joke's on ewe, stoners!
Posted by yelahneb http://www.strangebutharmless.com on October 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
Oh please. My bro grew pot in Cali decades ago when it wasn't legal for home use. Never stopped him.

Grow a pair.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 4
Sounds like one of our local dealers is worried that Fred Meyer is going to sell weed at a cheaper price than he can.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
5
the metaphor actually does make sense, but not in the way the Hempfester presumably meant it. The medical pot industry and drug dealers are really feeling threatened by this and are making legalization seem like its going to be super terrible (for reasons they never really articulate), and thus are the sheep in wolf's clothing.
Posted by high and bi on October 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
current street prices are HIGHER than 200-260/oz., and brazillions of people have no problem affording "medicine".

pass it, get the federal lawsuits going. move the ball forward.
Posted by Max Solomon on October 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
7
if anything wouldn't prices go down?
Posted by jns on October 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
8
Dominic why is you wanting families ruined?
Posted by Vadt on October 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Granny Smith 9
Does anyone really believe it costs $200 an oz to grow pot? If it was farmed like any other crop there should be plenty of margin to add in the taxes and still sell it for way less than what it costs now.
Posted by Granny Smith on October 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
10
Wake up sheeple! Oh, wait, you're wolfeople, never mind.
Posted by Levislade http://ballofwax.org on October 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Geraldo Riviera 11
@6 no they are not.
Posted by Geraldo Riviera on October 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
seandr 12
I know a lot of people who are quite friendly to the idea of legalization but don't like this particular initiative.

I ended up voting yes, but with serious reservations about the zero-tolerance driving restrictions for teenagers, and the fact that people who metabolize active THC more slowly than average will be vulnerable to bogus DUIs.

Dom - I don't believe your long-winded, dickish rants on this issue have helped your cause any more than they did with the tunnel. When was the last time you were convinced of something you didn't already believe by a condescending windbag?
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
13
I hate when my family gets ruined by sheep posing as wolves.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 29, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
14
Will someone please contact Carly Fiorina's ad people about getting started on a "Demon Wolves" ad for the No-on-502 campaign?
Posted by High Federalist on October 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
seandr 15
Been a while since I've been in one of your comment sections, and big surprise, nothing but yes-men (hi Will in Seattle!). Just like back in the old days with the tunnel.

Ok, bye now.
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
16
Now I know what's it's like to be old. The entire underground and counterculture are full of fucking morons -- Larouchies, Occupy, now potheads. If you can't trust potheads who can you trust?
Posted by K on October 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 17
serious reservations about the zero-tolerance driving restrictions for teenagers


Isn't there zero tolerance for teens driving under the influence of alcohol? Why should pot be any different?
Posted by keshmeshi on October 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
jnmend 18
Seriously, let's get the money out of the hands of our cash-starved government who wants to do crazy shit like give the mentally ill treatmeant and back into the hands of mexican drug cartels that have our ACTUAL best interests in mind.

YOU ARE LIKE SOOOO DUMB DOMINIC OMG.
Posted by jnmend on October 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Timrrr 19
Err... he does realize that currently --under prohibition-- at each stage growers, transporters, and dealers tack on an additional charge of anywhere between 33%-100% in order to offset incarceration risks they may incur in growing, transporting or selling an illegal product?

Doesn't he?!?
Posted by Timrrr on October 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
wisepunk 20
This is just a transcript of every speech ever given on the stage at hempfest.

wisepunk @ hempfest 2001 "Look Jack Herer is speaking, I wanna go see that!"

2 hours later - "he should really stick to growing pot."

Posted by wisepunk on October 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
21
I'm so glad someone's speaking up for the right of teens to drive stoned. Won't somebody think of the children? And how they should be allowed to drive stoned?
Posted by Levislade http://ballofwax.org on October 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
bedipped 22
Start your season off right with this Wolf. As another atrocity, Eric Burden and the Animals play his wolf-pack.

LIZA is feeling mighty Christmas-ey & has never been so perky as in this little ditty sung with Cyril Ritchard - best known as Capt. Hook- as the Big Bad Wolf in Drag.
Posted by bedipped on October 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
seandr 23
@17, @21: If you smoke a phat spliff today, are you still stoned tomorrow? How about Wednesday or Thursday?

Because unlike alcohol, you'll still have detectable amounts of active THC in your blood for days after you indulged. That's not an automatic DUI under current law, but it will be if this initiative passes.

If you need an analogy to alcohol, this initiative would be the equivalent of passing a law that says you can't drive for 2-5 days after drinking, depending on your metabolism.
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 24
@11: what are they, then? for the good stuff, not ditch weed?

maybe i should start smoking again...
Posted by Max Solomon on October 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 25

@23) Untrue. There's no science to back up the claim that someone who smoked marijuana would remain above the 5 ng/mL cut-off after 12 hours. The vast majority of users fall well below that level within a few hours. Furthermore, under current law, people are routinely prosecuted for less than the 5ng/mL cut off.

Posted by Dominic Holden on October 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
26
@17- exactly right.

I organized the 502 debate that is being played endlessly on TVW. During the post-debate standoff between gun-toting dealers (the No on 502 lobby), and the law enforcement rep I learned all sorts of things about current DUI provisions and per se limits. I have to say, if I were a pot smoker I'd want those limits in place.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on October 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
27
@23, what @25 didn't mention in his response is that you're conflating active THC with THC metabolite. The active portion is converted into metabolite, and that's what the science he linked to shows. Under current law, the metabolite alone can be used as evidence to convict, as it would indicate illegal use of cannabis, possibly impairing driving. I-502 improves upon that, by saying "look, only the stuff which is active may be used to convict."

If you don't believe me, I quote from 502:
""THC concentration" means nanograms of delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of a person's whole blood. THC
concentration does not include measurement of the metabolite THC-COOH,
also known as carboxy-THC."
Posted by Tawnos on October 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 28
$3200 a pound? Are you crazy? Did you just pull that figure out of your ass?

Marijuana is a plant. And one that is relatively easy to grow in WA. If it was legal, and grown on farms like any other crop, it should cost no more than broccoli. Sure, there would be some added costs for taxes and regulation and oversight, but even with all that, it shouldn't cost a fraction of your ridiculous quote.

A realistic estimate might be gained by looking at cigarettes. Strictly from a farming standpoint, marijuana is easier to grow than tobacco. There are similarities in how both are processed. Tobacco is heavily regulated and taxed, just as pot would be under this initiative. It is more reasonable to guess that legal pot should be priced a lot closer to cigarettes than your groundless hysterical quote of $3200 a pound.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on October 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 29
@12 LMAO "long-winded dickish rants"!!!

Yeah, Mr. Jack's Friend really has it over Dom in the writing department. I'm so enthralled w/ such electrical writing as:
Who will be able to afford 1 oz or 1lb? [currently 1oz $200-$260 & 1LB $1800 - $3200] no one.. because of the 25% tax for each: producers; processors & retailers - add that up and whatta get? OH back to the Black Market era [all those dried up ex-dealers -WAKE UP GUYS — HIGH PRICES ARE BACK!! You're in biz again!!]

Such insightful reasoning, such urbane erudition. I'm sure everyone sitting on the fence on this issue would be swayed by such incredible writing skills.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on October 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM · Report this
30
@25: Shush. You're interrupting a good paranoid delusion. Why not tell poor @23 that just being in the same room with people smoking pot will trigger an automatic DUI for between 3 and 6 years? He'd totally go for it.
Posted by also on October 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
31
I voted yes. I'm skeptical that the DUI provision is based on sound science, but I'm not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Also, realistically, the THC blood level has to be confirmed with a blood draw. There's no equivalent of a breathalyzer for THC. Basically, I expect the only convictions under this law to be people who were either a) smoking in the car while driving, or b) so obviously intoxicated that they fail a field sobriety test, and are arrested so the cops can do a blood test at the station.
Posted by Orv on October 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 32
Don't feed the trolls, Dom. People are easily confused by bad information. We call them "low information voters." It's best to kill a bogus message rather than put it up on the Slog megaphone.
Posted by Westlake, son! on October 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
seandr 33
@27: conflating active THC with THC metabolite

No, I'm not, which is why I specifically said "active THC". THC metabolite lingers for weeks, even months. Depending on your metabolism, active THC can linger for days, but it still lingers, which makes it an unreliable measure of intoxication.

@25: You're "science" link goes to your own article, which isn't science.

If you read the original articles, they suggest, based on very small subject populations, that people vary in how quickly they flush active THC from their blood streams. Perhaps a majority would fall below 5ng after a day, but those studies also demonstrate quite clearly that some people require multiple days. Sucks for them, I guess.

They also show that few people go to 0ng within a day, which is why the very scientists who conducted that research recommend against the zero tolerance policy that this initiative will encode as law for teens.

Given how little research has been done on this, for all we know the time it takes to flush active THC may vary across different races and genders. Sucks for them, I guess.

But look, a hippy wrote you a stupid letter! Ha ha, paranoid stoners!

@30: As a smart person with a PhD who's read all the relevant scientific papers on this subject, I'm just laying out the scientific facts that Dom has either failed to comprehend or intentionally obfuscated. Like I said, I ended up voting "yes" on this initiative, so there's really no motivation here other than the belief that people should make informed decisions when filling out their ballots, and that there are good reasons to vote "no".

In any case, very sorry to disrupt this echo chamber. Please continue to enjoy the sound of your own voices.
More...
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 34
@33) I know that I'm supes dumb and you are "a smart person with a PhD who's read all the relevant scientific papers on this subject," but can you point me to this science that shows someone who smoked marijuana was at or above the 5 ng/mL level after 12 hours?
Posted by Dominic Holden on October 29, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 35
@seandr--

I've read every paper that Dom cited in his piece, and a couple of others. He gets the science right.

Make sure that you convert plasma [THC] (which is what most researchers report) to whole blood [THC] (which is how 502 defines the cutoff). They are not the same thing. (To a first approximation you can just divide the plasma level by 2 to estimate the blood level.)

As I recall (we litigated this here at length some months ago) there was exactly one individual subject in all of the relevant, peer reviewed studies who tested above the legal cutoff (and that just barely) more than a couple of hours past smoking. One. And many more that were not even close.

Unless you are talking about people under 21, for whom the cutoff is zero. As it is for everyone, currently.

Sincerely,
Another smart guy with a PhD
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on October 29, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
smade 36
What does Golob say?
Posted by smade on October 29, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
seandr 37
@34: See below for example. Emphasis on apparent differences between men and women is mine.

Karschner, E. L., Schwilke, E. W., Lowe, R. H., Darwin, W. D., Pope, H. G., Herning, R., Cadet, J. L., ... Huestis, M. A. (December 01, 2009). RESEARCH REPORT: Do Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentrations indicate recent use in chronic cannabis users?. Addiction, 104, 12, 2041-2048.

To quantify blood Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations in chronic cannabis users over 7 days of continuous monitored abstinence. Twenty-five frequent, long-term cannabis users resided on a secure clinical research unit at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse under continuous medical surveillance to prevent cannabis self-administration. Whole blood cannabinoid concentrations were determined by two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nine chronic users (36%) had no measurable THC during 7 days of cannabis abstinence; 16 had at least one positive THC ≥0.25 ng/ml, but not necessarily on the first day. On day 7, 6 full days after entering the unit, six participants still displayed detectable THC concentrations [mean ± standard deviation (SD), 0.3 ± 0.7 ng/ml] and all 25 had measurable carboxy-metabolite (6.2 ± 8.8 ng/ml). The highest observed THC concentrations on admission (day 1) and day 7 were 7.0 and 3.0 ng/ml, respectively. Interestingly, five participants, all female, had THC-positive whole blood specimens over all 7 days. Body mass index did not correlate with time until the last THC-positive specimen (n = 16; r = −0.2; P = 0.445). Substantial whole blood THC concentrations persist multiple days after drug discontinuation in heavy chronic cannabis users. It is currently unknown whether neurocognitive impairment occurs with low blood THC concentrations, and whether return to normal performance, as documented previously following extended cannabis abstinence, is accompanied by the removal of residual THC in brain. These findings also may impact on the implementation of per se limits in driving under the influence of drugs legislation.

More...
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
internet_jen 38
Industrial Hemp; Never Forget: http://www.reddit.com/r/cannabis/comment…
Posted by internet_jen on October 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
seandr 39
@34: or how about this?

Skopp, G., & Potsch, L. (March 01, 2008). Cannabinoid concentrations in spot serum samples 24-48 hours after discontinuation of cannabis smoking. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 32, 2, 160-164.

A blood concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the low nanograms-per-milliliter range is often claimed to result from drug use more than 24-48 h previously. The present investigation determined concentrations of cannabinoids in blood collected at least 24 h from smoking in an in-patient setting. During sampling, distinctive effects due to drug use could not be observed. The randomly collected samples from heavy (n = 16, > 1 joint/day), moderate (n = 15, ≤ 1 joint/day), and light (n = 6, < 1 joint/week) users of cannabis were analyzed for THC, 11-hydroxy-THC (OH-THC), and free 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as well as for glucuronidated THCCOOH by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. THC was detectable in 9, 6, and 1 samples from heavy, moderate, and light users, respectively. Although cannabinoid concentrations were overlapping between groups, there was a trend towards higher concentrations of both conjugated and free THCCOOH in regular users compared to occasional users. The present findings appear to indicate that low levels of THC, or of THC along with OH-THC, may not unequivocally prove a very recent use of cannabis.
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 40
@37) That study doesn't show anyone above the 5 ng/mL level a day after getting high. It just says there are detectable levels for up to a week, but the study, again, shows those levels are well below 5 ng/mL.
Posted by Dominic Holden on October 29, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 41
@39) Again, that study doesn't show anyone above the level described in I-502. As I wrote back in March:

The study by Gisela Skopp et al. found that none of them exceeded the 5 ng/mL cutoff. The highest was 6.4 ng/mL of blood serum. (Note: That test measured blood serum, in which THC concentrations are roughly double their levels in whole blood. In whole blood, Grotenhermen explains, the equivalent would be 3.2 ng/mL, well below the cutoff for drivers in I-502.)
Posted by Dominic Holden on October 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM · Report this
42
The rule of thumb is that anyone who has to resort to shouting in all capital letters is automatically wrong.
Posted by montex on October 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM · Report this
43
@23: "Because unlike alcohol, you'll still have detectable amounts of active THC in your blood for days after you indulged. That's not an automatic DUI under current law, but it will be if this initiative passes."

I don't think you understand what the word "active" means. My god are you stupid.
Posted by keep on not understanding what the current laws are on October 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
seandr 44
@40: The studies clearly show that plenty of non-impaired teens could be convicted of a marijuana DUI under the 0ng cutoff, some even a week after they've smoked. Can we at least agree to that?

As for 5ng, when you consider the large variability across individuals in these small studies, and you project that distribution across a population of millions, it is all but certain that some percentage of people in the tail end of that distribution will end up on the wrong side of cutoff, well after they have smoked anything. By the looks of things, they will probably be women.

We could debate how many people would be in that tail, although we'd be speculating given the small size of these samples, and the fact that they are in no way representative of the demographics of the larger population. We could also debate whether a law that arbitrarily favors some metabolisms over others is just, especially given the possibility that those metabolisms could correlate with race, age, or gender.

But never mind, back to demonizing hippies - we'll see soon enough how effective that approach to this issue has been.
Posted by seandr on October 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
watchout5 45
I don't care if the prices are high. I don't care about anecdotal evidence. I don't care that the government is going to continue to ruin families in our name. This bill will hurt less families and hurt less guilty families less. Why didn't pot activists get the bill they wanted on the ballot this year? Oh that's right. It doesn't have a chance of passing and you know it. Either we make this change or we keep the exact same system. It's pretty obvious more prohibition hurts more families. Bring on the taxes.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on October 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM · Report this
LEE. 46
@seandr

look, let's face facts here...the DUI part of I-502 doesn't bother Dominic because he doesn't want people driving period. sorry to drop in on this thread sounding like some War On Cars paranoid, but I have yet to see anything written by him that makes me feel he is sympathetic to drivers in the least. I still voted for this initiative as well, but I didn't feel awesome about it. which is sad - growing up, I had always imagined voting to approve marijuana legalization would an especially great feeling.

at least approving R-74 was good times...
Posted by LEE. on October 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM · Report this
watchout5 47
@44 Unequivocally yes. I'm voting yes while very consciously knowing that the science is likely fraudulent. If the bill didn't have this provision in I would support it all the same. Personally legalization is way more important. While it might be world ending to be part of the population that smoked on the weekend and got some kind of "automatic" DUI it's far better than locking up people for having marijuana on their person. It's a trade I'd accept a million times over, and while I wouldn't want to trade that's the question we have in front of us, and my answer is legalize it for life.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on October 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM · Report this
48
LEE just ask yourself if making it easier for dangerous drivers to get away with dangerous driving just because they are smoking pot is a good enough reason not to legalize pot. ive heard so many people fretting over whether its ok to have the DUI provision in I-502. but the argument that protects dangerous drivers from responsibility for their state of consciousness sounds to me like a very weak one! im not saying driving stoned always leads to dangerous driving, but if a stoned driver wrecks your car/family/day/life you are going to wish for strict enforcement of DUI law. Why let the dangerous drivers off??? yes on i-502!
Posted by peskypoop on October 30, 2012 at 4:25 AM · Report this
49
if you are driving stoned safely, whatever, ill never know it. if you are driving stoned dangerously, i want you off the street! so if youre not mature enough to take your dangerously driving self off the street, and a cop has to come and arrest your stoned ass, so be it! i would absolutely rather your dangerously driving self go to jail for a month than have your dangerously driving self crash into my family. protecting dangerous drivers is no excuse! lets pass i-502!
Posted by peskypoop on October 30, 2012 at 4:32 AM · Report this
50
#48, your understanding of the argument against the driving provision is all wrong. The argument is not that people under the influence should be allowed to drive. The argument is that some people who are safe to drive, under this law, could TEST above the threshold and be arrested for something for which they are not guilty-- driving under the influence.

Again, the argument is what is a reasonable measure of "under the influence," i.e. what would be similar to .08 for alcohol, and less for commercial drivers (and even that number is somewhat random-- some people are safe to drive at .08, and some are not)? I don't think any reasonable person is actually arguing that people should be allowed to drive impaired, including alcohol, other drugs, mobile phones, and fatigue.
Posted by I Prefer Not To on October 30, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
51
@15: What a compelling and thoughtful counter to Dominic's argument. Truly, we should feel blessed for your presence.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 30, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
52
@23: Oh, I see you fell for the lies. Carry on, then.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 30, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
53
@44: Way to white knight those pothead teenagers.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 30, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 54
Kee-rist, only seandr would sign off his second post with "bye now" and then come back with half a dozen more comments. Just another attention whore.
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 30, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
flotard 55
Even if someone technically had THC in their blood over the level, if the car is being driven in a safe manner what is the chance of being hauled in for a blood test? If the car is being operated in a safe manner then it is unlikely to be pulled over. Unless a police officer suspects impairment, it is unlikely a person will be hauled in for a blood test. First you would have to get pulled over for something, then seem impaired, then fail a field sobriety test, then be required to take a breathalyzer test, and then be hauled in for a blood test. If you don't appear impaired the officer is not going to waste their time taking you in but will just issue a citation and go on to look for the next person.
Posted by flotard on October 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
LEE. 56
@48

as I'd Prefer Not To said, I'm not defending dangerous drivers of any stripe here, intoxicated or stone sober. the zero tolerance for any driver under 21 is what bothers me. it's some personal issues left over from growing up in a town where police had nothing to do but fuck with teens; I acknowledge that and still voted for this initiative, just not enthusiastically. believe me though, no one wants dangerous/incompetent drivers off the streets of Seattle more than me. they're everywhere and they're a menace. just because I don't agree with some seemingly draconian measures to achieve this is not unreasonable.

I decided to chime into this discussion simply because I felt arguing with Dominic over the DUI provision was a moot point, since I don't believe he cares if people lose their drivers' license whether they deserve to or not. maybe that's glib of me to say, but I'm at a loss to find anything he's written in Slog stating otherwise.
Posted by LEE. on October 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Akbar Fazil 57
I love how this idiot troll has changed his user pic to a Dom as Hitler-Satan guy. Because acting like a Larouche-ie is the best way to get people on your side.
Posted by Akbar Fazil on October 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Bonefish 58
This is a long, boring post. Be warned.

Seandr, you imply that only a hippie-bashing “yes man” would agree with Dominic’s arguments in favor of I-502, yet you don’t offer up any compelling reason to oppose it. So far, you’ve only cited studies that DO NOT SHOW what you claim they show. They either show a mere presence of THC, or they aren’t measuring in active whole blood THC, and no longer measure above 5ng/mL when converted to the units defined in the measure.

It’s ironic that you accuse everyone else of being overly simplistic automatons on this issue when your only (un-refuted) arguments against I-502 are 1) Dominic Holden supports it and he’s a “condescending windbag;” 2) Dominic acted like a big asshole when talking about some tunnel issue a while back; and 3) You guys are hippie bashing! Every other one of your arguments has been refuted using nothing more than a glimpse at the studies that you yourself are citing.

Except one: you claim that, if you extrapolate these results to the population as a whole, it is “all but certain” that some people will wind up on the tail end of that distribution and will maintain active THC above the law’s cutoff even after they’ve sobered up. This is exactly how NOT to conduct a statistical analysis. You have to actually identify the distribution that your variable follows, you have to identify the cutoff you’ve chosen and its position in that probability distribution function, you have to identify the probability of a data point extending beyond that cutoff. It’s also relevant what you’re measuring: are you looking for a difference in THC levels between different groups? Are you looking for relationships between THC levels and multiple explanatory variables? Or are you merely looking for the mean amount of THC after a given length of time? Or even just the presence/absence of THC? These all affect how you conduct your analysis what sort of patterns you can label “significant” or not.

That paragraph was a bit dense, so here’s the short version: you have to actually do the math and come up with real statistical conclusions. You don’t just “guess” that there “must” be “a lot” of data points that lie “somewhere within the tail” of the distribution. That is not a reason to rally against I-502.

And even if you are going to take wild guesses, at least do so with some basis on the data at hand. If I were forced to take a wild guess on how worried we should be about outliers in the general populace, using no calculations, simply based on the studies you have provided, here’s how it would go:

Between the studies you cite in posts #37 & 39, there’s a sample size of about 62. Out of those 62 samples, whatever the standard deviation, however little confidence we can have in our calculations of “mean” THC after a day, whatever PDF this combined sample follows, the number of data points extending beyond this contested cutoff is 0. Zero people on the tail end of these particular data’s distribution lie beyond 5 ng/mL of active, whole-blood THC after a reasonable time period.

If we increased our sample size, might we get some outliers that do lie beyond this cutoff? Sure, we might; we also might not. I wouldn’t necessarily publish a study declaring that THC above 5ng/mL is “impossible” with a sample of 62. At the same time though, “0” is an awfully low number to have when making YOUR declaration that the existence of such outliers is “all but certain.”

You also have to keep in mind that the goal of this cutoff is to prevent both arrests of sober people AND intoxicated driving. This means that they need a reasonable cutoff that’s higher than what sober people tend to have, but not so high that a large portion of stoned people would still lie below this cutoff. We can’t have a nice, thick cushion between the legal limit and the highest possible border between sober vs. intoxicated, and if you’re waiting for a law that has one, you’ll be waiting forever. However, given the absence of people above this cutoff after a reasonable time period in any studies so far, I’d say this law has done a good job choosing a reasonable one. The odds that a person will be pulled over AND suspected of intoxication AND tested above the cutoff, all while being perfectly sober, are too slim for you to honestly declare that only an unthinking Holden lackey could judge them as negligible.

Either argue that stoned driving should be allowed and no cutoff should exist at all, or don’t; but you have no real room to argue a different cutoff here if your rationale is concern over faulty arrests.
More...
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on October 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
59
@44 I don't think anyone is arguing that the law doesn't protect teens who smoke pot at all, driving or otherwise. That's the point of the age limit being 21. Hence the analogy with alcohol. If you're under 21 it's not just illegal for you to drive drunk or buzzed or if you had a drink three weeks ago. It's illegal for you to drink alcohol if you're under 21. Period. Right now, it's illegal for anyone to smoke pot (other than the medical card holders, sort of). Under the new law, it would STILL be illegal for teenagers to smoke pot (that isn't a change to the current law), it would just allow ADULTS over the age of 21 to smoke pot.

So this whole "picking on teenagers" thing is irrelevant. They aren't supposed to have smoked pot within the past few days, months, years, whatever. So, if they can still detect it in their system, active or otherwise, they are going to get in trouble for it, because that's what the law is supposed to do. It allows ADULTS to smoke, not teenagers.

So, feel free to begin your lament about how unfair it is that you can die for your country, buy cigarettes, porn and vote, but not pot. It's OK. We'll listen. You can even write in to I, Anon.
Posted by AletheiaGrey on October 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Geraldo Riviera 60
As a smart person with a PhD who's read all the relevant scientific papers, I am very concerned that I will someday say "as a smart person with a PhD who's read all the relevant scientific papers" during an argument.

On top of that, I would be even more embarrassed if it turned out that I hadn't read all the relevant scientific papers as noted by @58.
Posted by Geraldo Riviera on October 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 61
The discussion by anti people on "But I'm find to drive stoned, it's just a mild buzz" reminds me of stories I would overhear from alcoholics about how they were fine to drive drunk.

Face it, you just want to get high.

All the time.

Even if it puts school kids at risk while you drive stoned.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 31, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
62
It's sad (though not unexpected) to see so many people still trying to keep this discussion at the level of "who gets to sell a 10 cent plant for a thousand dollars" instead of advocating for sensible legalization - even if that has to happen through 1000 baby steps like I-502.

I see this bogus argument about "higher prices due to tax"... and it's all hot air because without criminal laws to avoid, growing becomes a mainstream industry and not a criminal enterprise that can charge danger-pay for its product: that tax will be levied on a product that's worth a lot less than one tenth of the price it sells for today.
Posted by QCislander on October 31, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
63
Seandr - I'm sympathetic to your argument; I have recently (for reasons unrelated to the WA initiative, as I don't live there) been reading a lot of literature about THC and its metabolites and tests, and considering legal aspects.

Something that occurs to me, though, is that there's an important difference between how long metabolites persist in the body and how long THC persists in the body. If a metabolite is measured and someone is punished for impairment, that is clearly (to me) unjust, since there is not a reliable correlation to recent use.

However, THC is the active compound itself, the one that alters cognitive capacity and ostensibly makes driving dangerous. So it doesn't concern me as much that someone (probably me, demographically) might be disallowed from driving for longer after hypothetical marijuana use than someone else due to an extended duration of active compound in my body.

I think I'm doing a bad job of expressing myself here. THC in the blood is in equilibrium with THC in the brain. if there's still more than 5 ng/mL in the blood (or whatever scientifically determined cutoff) of THC, there is probably still cognitive impairment. Some people stay high longer, and that's not "fair" - but it also doesn't mean any of us should be driving high.
Posted by Thisbe on November 1, 2012 at 3:51 AM · Report this
GhostDog 64
@61

This is what I keep saying. When I hear cannabis users talk about how awesome they can drive high or how cannabis doesn't impair people it sounds almost exactly like very experienced drinkers who talk about how they can drive just fine after a shot or five of vodka.

When people picked apart Prop 19 after it failed in 2010 the things people blamed were the decrim act that was passed right before, the huge conflicts among the cannabis using community, and the lack of a DUI provision that the anti-legalization forces clubbed the Pro 19 people over the head with OVER AND OVER again.

I would also like to point out that right now 502 is doing much better than the other initiatives that are much less restrictive.
Posted by GhostDog on November 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
65
@63: "However, THC is the active compound itself, the one that alters cognitive capacity and ostensibly makes driving dangerous. So it doesn't concern me as much that someone (probably me, demographically) might be disallowed from driving for longer after hypothetical marijuana use than someone else due to an extended duration of active compound in my body."

You're confused here. Active metabolites of THC are only found right after you've smoked. The THC that drug tests seek is not the active metabolites.
Posted by please get that straight on November 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
66
And by drug tests I mean the current employment tests not DWI testing.
Posted by clarification on November 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
67
65/66 - I don't think I am confused. It seems like you may be? I haven't actually read the proposed laws (not really relevant to me just now), but I gather from discussion here that the law would prohibit driving with a THC level above a certain cutoff. Not sure how this would be tested - but that's a different question. Anyway, my statement was based on the assumption that it is THC itself that is regulated for driving.

It is clearly stupid to have THC metabolites as the measured parameter for DUI, so I assume nobody has proposed that.
Posted by Thisbe on November 1, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Bonefish 68
67: The law proposes a cutoff of 5 ng/mL (whole-blood) of active THC before a DUI can be charged, not metabolites. You're not confused.
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on November 1, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this

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