I learned many things during my college years (1966-71) at San Jose State University. One was that heavy marijuana users, a.k.a. "stoners," could drive just fine while under the influence.
I can personally testify to this. Oh, man, I sure can.
This fact is politically relevant since opponents of California's Proposition 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana in Oregon's neighbor to the south, are promulgating ridiculous claims about stoned drivers killing people if Prop 19 passes.
On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes. Recreational marijuana use in fatal crashes will increase if Prop. 19 passes. It will be legal for a driver to get high right before taking the wheel. It will also be legal for passengers to smoke pot as they drive on the freeway or in your neighborhood.
Stand against the legalization of recreational marijuana. Keep California safe. Time is running out.
How do I know? I'm alive.
And I never even got into any sort of auto or motorcycle accident while driving around the San Francisco Bay Area in various states of psychedelicized consciousness for the better part of two years during the most intense period of my getting high in college phase.
Me and my friends would zip up to "the City" in my 57' VW bug with smoke pouring out of the windows. Ditto when we'd drive over curving roads in the Santa Cruz mountains in the middle of the night.
I'd much rather be out on the road with people who have imbibed marijuana than with alcohol drinkers. If legalizing marijuana in California leads to more stoners and fewer drinkers, this will make the streets safer, not more dangerous.
Sure, some say that marijuana is stronger now than it was back in the 60's. The Drug Policy Alliance says this is another myth. Even if it isn't, my extensive experience with all sorts of pot varieties in my college days showed me that it's possible to drive safely no matter how stoned you are.
I'll accept that this may not be true for everybody. But by and large, a marijuana user who has had "way too much" is going to be a far better driver than a drinker who has had "way too much."
If the No on Proposition 19 folks are so concerned about highway safety, they should be campaigning to make drinking alcohol illegal.
However, there aren't any good reasons to keep marijuana illegal. Just many reasons to legalize it. The No on Prop 19 campaign is deep into paranoia. They should chill out and realize they've lost touch with reality.
That's what not using marijuana will do to you. Scary!