This Has Happened Before

KOMO News in Washington state reported yesterday that the number of Washington state drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for THC has doubled.

The article reports:

According to research by AAA between 2008 and 2012, an estimated eight percent of Washington drivers involved in fatal crashes were positive for THC. That rate now is more than double since weed became legal in Washington.

In the five years before legislation, an average of 56 Washington drivers involved in fatal crashes each year were THC positive. In the five years after legislation, that average jumped to 130.

“We know that marijuana use can inhibit concentration, slow reaction time, and cloud judgment. There’s no reason to think that’s not going to happen when you are behind the wheel. That doesn’t suddenly change,” said Kelly Just of AAA.

THC is the active compound in marijuana and can stay in your body for a period of time before disappearing.

“There really isn’t a test to show impairment, so you may have it in your system, may not be impaired. You may have it in your system and may be impaired. Because of that our recommendation is if you use marijuana, don’t drive and if you plan to drive don’t use marijuana,” said Just.

“We’re running across people under the influence and driving all the way from teenagers, all the way up to people in their forties and fifties. So keep in mind the safest bet is just to not get behind the wheel if you plan on using marijuana that day or night,” said Trooper Chris Thorson of the Washington State Patrol.

I know there is a move for legalization of marijuana, but I question the wisdom of legalizing a drug for recreational use in the middle of an opioid epidemic. There are a lot of pathways to drug addiction and a lot of things that can happen when drugs are used for recreation. The pattern of increased accidents caused by an increase in marijuana use as a result of legalization has been seen in other states. The legalization of marijuana may make some people happy, but it makes all of us less safe.

Is It Charitable To Finance Someone’s Drug Addiction?

Many years ago, I knew a Pastor who had a wonderful way of dealing with people who approached him on the street and asked him for money. He would take them to breakfast, lunch or dinner (whichever was appropriate for the time of day). He knew that in many cases, if you give someone who begs you for money cash, it will be spent on drugs and alcohol, and you are not helping that person. Some states are beginning to realize that their welfare programs are supporting drug addiction and are attempting to do something about it. North Carolina is one of those states. Before I write this article, I would like to remind the reader that most job applications today include a drug test. If I have to pass a drug test to get a job to earn money, shouldn’t you have to pass a drug test to collect money? posted an article yesterday about North Carolina’s drug testing program. The state began doing drug tests late last year. So far, almost 25 percent of those tested, tested positive for drug use.

The article reports:

State officials report that of the 89 applicants given the drug test, 21 of them tested positive. An additional 70 applicants who were told to take the test never showed up for their appointment and consequently never got benefits.

I wonder what the percentage of the 70 that never showed up would have been.

The article further reports:

Also, despite the positive results, in half the cases benefits were still paid to the applicants because children were involved.

Does anyone actually believe that the benefits paid were spent on the children involved and not drugs?

We are not doing anyone any favors by giving people with drug addiction problems money. What kind of an example are we funding for the children growing up in a house with an active drug addict? We need to put the people who test positive into compulsory treatment programs and take their children away until they are clean.

For those who argue that drug testing is too expensive and will not yield positive results, please tell me what positive results come from giving an addicted parent money to buy drugs (even if you say the money is for the children, that is not where it will be spent). The most charitable thing you can do for a drug addict collecting welfare is to hold them accountable and help them kick their drug habit. Paying them to continue in their addiction is cruel to them and very damaging to the next generation.