Drilling the blunt truth about marijuana and driving into the brains of our youth
Starting Jan. 1, teenagers who take driver's ed in Massachusetts will have to sit through a 25-minute AAA video about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana.
As is required, the video's title uses a marijuana pun: "Shifting Gears: the Blunt Truth about Marijuana and Driving." Per MassDOT:
This is the first generation of driver education students to be licensed since cannabis became legal in Massachusetts, and AAA research shows that impaired driving crashes may increase and continue to injure and kill motorists and their passengers. The Shifting Gears, cannabis-impaired driving curriculum, will be taught to approximately fifty-thousand young drivers per year in over 460 Massachusetts driving school locations.
The video is mostly dry talk about what marijuana and its components do to your ability to drive; there is just one brief section with a recreation of Kids Today toking up before getting into a car and almost ramming into a woman walking across the street and she gets mad and pounds on the car's hood, and the now sheepish pothead driver apologizes; unlike the movies of impaired driving back in the day that would end with the driver crashing into something, mangling the car, himself and his passengers, in bloody Technicolor.
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Were any public health professionals involved in this or did they just go the "expert cop who faints when he sees talcum powder" route?
EDIT: Apparently not. Powerpoint slides with a lot of words being read by someone older with a really irritating voice is a really shitty general public health education mode. I don't even torture clinicians like that!
As a public health professional, I'm going to go with no
They didn't even bother to caption the video for accessibility. Only auto captions are available. So no, no public health people were involved.
The overall thing isn't horrible, but has some "beware the killer weed" vibes. It isn't safe or recommended to drive under the influence of cannabis, but it still doesn't pack the same public health risks as alcohol, and we're starting to see trends of some people using it for relaxation, which is overall better for health than alcohol (though for those who partake, please use edibles, not smoked varieties).
You know the old joke?
The joke exists for a reason, and while people shouldn't drive on either or use either in heavy amounts, high drivers are at least not disinhibited and taking risks.
(Also, AAA is one of the biggest lobbyists against measures that make streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists, and against public transit. They're a pro-automobile group, not a public safety group. Why on earth did they not partner with NHTSA or one of the independent nonprofits that actually researches and promotes safety?)
Just a reply to say how much I appreciate eeka who always speaks up for many who cannot on their own.
What Cybah said
I occasionally like to argue with eeka, but I will never doubt that she’s on the side of the angels.
Def have to educate folks
Definitely have to educate folks on the dangers of driving 5 under the speed limit and checking your blind spot 8 times before making a lane change.
And singing along with the
And singing along with the radio way too loudly at a stoplight.
...about the problems with driving while using a substance, while legal, isn't allowed for them until they're 21.
I went to driving school in 1980. I don't recall there being pointed lessons on drinking while driving. I do remember the horror movie about careless driving and how the car ends up in flames. Then it donned on me. Why is a camera crew just happening to be following and filming a random car that just happened to end up in a fiery crash?
But I digress... an even bigger concern is texting while driving, and as I observe drivers around me, I see it isn't limited to younger drivers. Bring on the self-driving cars. People cannot be trusted to do one job. Drive and pay attention.
Getting off my soap box now.
“Bring on the self-driving cars.”
Better yet, bring on and get on more public transportation. Then text all you like.
Vocal fry for days
That speaker is unlistenable.
A modern remake of Reefer Madness?
Starring Kristen Stewart??
We never watched drunk driving videos in driver's ed and I did mine during Nancy and Ronnie's "Just Say No" era while Tipper Gore was in the other ear complaining about music lyrics...
Or a remake..
...of this little gift to the 2016 pot legalization efforts from its opponents.
They don't know the effects
They don't know the effects of driving while high. They have not been able to do test on things since the Feds won't allow it. People say they have no cognitive ability loss while smoking weed.
There should be tests done using video simulation games.
Have a person high on weed drive the video game car and have unexpected things happen on the screen. Just like real driving. We all know the line, "When you see a bouncing ball, a child is sure to follow." Have things such as that come out of nowhere. A person crossing the street looking at their phone... the typical Boston driver who bangs a u-ey in front of you... come up with a few of your own. You get the point.
This same type of reflex-gauging simulation test should be done for all drivers after age 70 when it's time to renew their license. Nothing personal. I'll get there myself someday. But if you really don't have the reflexes, maybe it's time to hang up the keys.
Drivers over 70 are …
… not the ones we need to worry about.
We most certainly do need to worry about drivers over 70.
And we need to worry about shitty drivers.
And we need to worry about inebriated drivers (no matter what they're inebriated by).
Pardon, this is a touchy subject since a friend lost her husband to an elderly driver left-turning into him while he was on his motorcycle. He was the middle bike of three in a row.
You can get permission to test these things
It's harder, but you can do it. And anyway, there's been a ton of legalization that makes these studies easier.
Anyway, here's a study showing 12% higher rate of fatal traffic crashes on 4/20 after 4:20 PM (compared to a week before or after, over a period of 25 years):
Yep, here is the legislation that will make cannabis research easier:
There could be theoretically be research on driving under the influence. I imagine it would have to start with extensive simulator tests to demonstrate that they aren't going to kill anyone even on a closed course with a speed governor. There have been various tests on drunk driving that were done similarly.
The 4/20 study is amazing and hilarious. Thanks for that.
There have been preliminary studies
Except some have not been released because they showed no relationship between blood levels or urine levels and evaluation of driving performance, which isn't what state regulators wanted to see or could use to do anything.
You see, some people can consume a lot of weed and can still pass tests of the reactions and skills needed to drive safely. Others eat a rookie cookie and stare at the wall for a couple of hours.
There is no measurable metabolite in blood or urine that scales to degree of intoxication.
A "Rookie Cookie"
I'm stealing that phrase if anyone offers me an edible @SwirlyGrrl.
As in: "Is this a rookie cookie?"
Very catchy. Did you come up with that?
This is your brain. This is
This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?
it's a tough one
Any Boston kid with a nose and brain knows on some level that tons of people drive while high regularly without incident. So no matter how much you want to have good message discipline, you're always going to bump up against that reality.
For that matter
It's blatantly obvious how many people drive drunk or buzzed "without incident".
Salty pot-heads are upset
Salty pot-heads are upset about public health education. Remember to wear your mask while you smoke. Smoke is a public health hazard to those around you.
Not a pothead
But I do create public health trainings and have a degree.
This isn't public health education. Sorry. It just isn't. This is pretty much useless.
And there's the commercial
And there's the commercial drivers license holders. Where anything goes including no video to watch about Storrowing.
Not to sound like "whataboutism..."
But there is such as thing as comparative risk and I for one, am WAAAY more concerned about every Tom, Dick and Karen on their phones! Still! Even after we passed a law! I ride a motorcycle, ALOT! I can easily see into people's cars, I can see what they are doing. Nearly every car at a stop light has someone fiddling with their phones, I see people streaming movies and sports. I see make-up tutorials on Youtube, Facebook posting. Texting is just a part of it. I've been known to crank up the throttle when the person in the car next to me is yammering away, lost in pointless conversation with some distant bestie. (I've also seen people eating a bowl of cereal, a cup of ramen, reading the Bible.) When I see a contractor rolling down the XWay in a crew cab pickup, Dunks in one hand, cell in the other, I get as far away from him as I can get. And for folks who get lost and are using their phone GPS, find a place to pull over and sort it out, don't stop in the middle of the intersection waiting to reacquire the GPS signal, stoopid. I feel for the cyclists who face danger every day from these nits, but I'm going 20, 40, 60 mph, in the middle of traffic, so even a little tap or lane incursion can be fatal. Getting greased by multiple vehicles on the highway is TBA. Hang up and drive people! (rant off)
To Mr Zip
It's as if I wrote it myself. Add to it that instead of looking back in the rear-view mirror to size-up who is honking at you to go after the light turned green, just fkn go!
I see the same thing
I see the same thing every day when I'm out walking the dog.
Yep, same as a cyclist
Since I sit higher on a bike than I would in a car, I've got all-too-good visibility into what the person in front of or next to me in traffic is doing. And it's terrifying that people think they can multitask like that.
Magoo’s midi-chlorian blood count levels are always through the roof and Magoo has excellent reaction and driving skills. Magoo.