Removing the Stigma of Driving while under the influence of Cannabis in Canada

Removing the Stigma of Driving while under the influence of Cannabis in Canada

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Banji Dawa started this petition to Prime Minister JustinTrudeau and

I am a Registered Reiki Practitioner and Certified Hot Stone Therapist as well as a Certified Medicinal Cannabis Educator Patient Advocate. 

Natural medicine and healing has been my passion for over 15 years.

There is a lot of misconceptions as to how cannabis works in the body and it is important that the people who making these laws are properly informed and not infringing on the rights of those who use cannabis recreationally or medicinally.  After all it is a medicine regardless of how it is consumed.  It balances out our endocannabinoid system,  which is why we feel so much well being when we are consuming cannabis. 

We produce our own cannabinoids, and cannabis provides those cannabinoids to relieve the stressed out endocannabinoid system.  It is unavoidable to have stresses and we are more vulnerable than ever to feeling these stresses.  EMF rays, cell phones, Wifi, stressful conflict in relationships, financial stresses, worrying, fear, poor diet... all causes us to feel out of balance. 

We are wired for cannabis. 

Experienced users build tolerance, especially when used as a medicine.  That means they may have more THC in their body but they are not feeling any psychoactivity. High amounts of THC in our body does not mean there is impairment.

According to US DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, the CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE stated that cannabis is one of the "most safest therapeutic agents known to man".

According to the NHTSA report...Low THC levels of a few nanograms/ml in blood can result from relatively recent use (1-3 hours) when some slight or even moderate impairment is likely to be present, or it can result from chronic use where no recent ingestion has occurred and no impairment is present."

If a driver is impaired using cannabis, it is much easier to recognize and use their good judgment than when consuming alcohol. 

According to the US Federal Drug Administration- "Don't drive, operate heavy equipment or engage in dangerous activity until you determine whether or not the usage of cannabis interferes with those activities".    So the driver knows if he should be driving or not.

This being said, Dr. David Bearman, PHD. a U.S. expert witness, cannabis pain specialist doctor, says "Cannabinoids allow the frontal lobes to be more rational and therefore the mind has a better grasp on reality". 

The link below is a study done by the US Department of Transportation- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that was submitted to the US congress in 2017.

www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/812355_drugalcoholcrashrisk.pdf  

This is a 190 page report - the third page has the results of this study showing there is no impairment when driving under the influence when factors such as age, gender and race/ethnicity is taken into consideration.  This study was done using 3000 crash drivers and 6000 control (comparison) drivers.
The results showing there is no increased risk of accident when driving under the influence of cannabis...

The current strict driving laws, enacted by the former attorney general, is a direct violation of our rights, resulting being penalized and scrutinized and violated for something that is a perfectly safe substance to consume and drive especially while using cannabis as a medicine and regular dosing.

We know there are irresponsible, careless drivers out there. This is not the issue.

It is the rest of the responsible, mature adults who are not being a threat to public safety who end up being victimized, and violated as a result of those few bad apples. 

As a result, law enforcement is being very hypersensitive about a substance that can not be compared to alcohol .

Alcohol can impair your judgement? Again that depends on how mature and responsible the driver is, what state of mind they are in, how much stress they are undergoing... Alcohol effects everyone differently.  Some of us are more aware of our actions and our body than others.  Some may not care, depending on what they are going through in life. Some of us are responsible and do care and know our limits.  

However, the laws are set up the same for everyone, and so the innocent can be victimized as well, relying on inaccurate devices and tactics that create fear.  WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO QUESTION THE OFFICER.  WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK UP AND STAND UP FOR OURSELVES IF WE FEEL THE NEED TO. 

Roadblocks are set up to target EVERYONE.  The officers are depending on these devices without really deciding on HOW FOCUSED the driver is. Relying on inaccurate technology.  The driver is not aware they are allowed to do TWO tests.  The officer does not inform them that the result will be the better of the TWO tests.   Doing the FIELD SOBRIETY test is not reliable. Not everyone can perform these tests SOBER.   None of these measures have been given deep consideration as to how accurate or RELIABLE theses tests are because the the missing link is needed.  How focused is the driver?

Then when the driver has been targeted and victimized, we are supposed to protest the ticket, DO NOT ARGUE WITH THE OFFICER.   HOW EASY IS THAT?  Easier than we think, but how are we informed of our rights?  The officer doesn't tell the victim of their rights.  Outside sources say to go to the motor vehicle branch and file a dispute.  WE DON'T need to hire a lawyer.  It is easier than we think... depending on the situation.  In the meantime, we have to deal with the fact of being victimized (car impoundment- finding other means of transportation etc., loss of work as a result of no transportation, and gouged in our pocket books) because the LAW ENFORCEMENT is FOCUSED on the REVENUE MAKING and NUMBERS that they are accumulating for their GOOD REPUTATION and KUDOS by their boss.  Think about this...  Maybe there are more of us out there who feel this way, than those who don't. 

According to Dr. David Bearman, the expert witness physician, he mentioned that there are no standard tests available to test and determine cannabis intoxification, but the officer can administer roadside tests to determine if the driver has over consumed cannabis.  In the U.S., he recommended to never take the FIELD SOBRIETY TEST.  It can be contested and is based on junk science.  There are no studies showing that the test can be performed by everybody and it can't.  

So again, this comes down to "HOW GROUNDED ARE WE IN OUR BODIES?  A driver stumbling to his car, does not mean they are not in their right mind and not able to focus, it means they have two left feet and no co ordination. It does not REQUIRE CO ORDINATION to DRIVE A CAR.  ONLY FOCUS. Think about it...  Not being able to walk a straight line, because they don't have good balance, doesn't mean they are not grounded.

So how FOCUSED are YOU? 

That needs to be the question that Traffic Enforcement needs to be asking!!  See how alert the driver is to their surroundings. 

Following instructions, which officers like to do to check for sobriety, has nothing to do with being focused.  FEAR plays a huge factor in not hearing what is being said or being able to comprehend what is being said.  Being able to think straight is difficult when fear consumes some of us.  FEAR of authority PARALYZES MANY OF US.  So giving instructions, not being able to walk a straight line, and not being able to memorize instructions does not indicate impairment.

This stigma needs to be examined. There has always been a lot of hype and negativity around drinking and driving and now cannabis, and to me it makes sense that this is a great revenue opportunity created by the media FOCUSED around this negativity.

Now MADD is talking about cannabis?  This is when we need to question THEIR integrity as to what they are saying... How many irresponsible, careless drivers are indicted and according to the Canadian Department of Justice website, in 2017, in Canada, 69,000 were charged with impaired driving....95% of the impaired drivers were alcohol related.  5% were drug related, not specifying which drugs.  This works out to 188 for 100,000 population.  178 were alcohol related and 10 were drug related... so there is a HUGE amount of dollars spent on capturing a very small percentage of the population. This was also the year that the previous attorney general made stricter driving impairment laws.  It is important to note the laws when these studies have taken place.

The current laws and the Law enforcement's approach creates ANIMOSITY and RESENTMENT and FEAR, which by the way wears our body down and creates sickness, which the PHARMACEUTICAL companies, the LAWYERS, and the REVENUE MAKING CITIES love.   More profits for them!!!

See how this trickles down the line?  Our rights are being violated... access to good medicine is being stifled.  Fear around using this medicine, driving under the influence campaigns, all make it difficult for people to want to use cannabis as a medicine.  Strict laws around using cannabis deters people from wanting to use, out of fear of being "caught" when they are doing NOTHING WRONG.

I am appalled by the whole system.  The injustice of it all.  Our violation of our human rights.  Our right to good medicine.  This infringement needs to be changed. 

Please join me in supporting our constitutional right to have access to good medicine and support consumers and remove the stigma that cannabis use increases our risk of accidents.  Asking law enforcement to use their common sense to find out if the drivers are really impaired or are they relying on old outdated tests that really make no sense and are setting up the general population for unreasonable and unjust consequences. 

We need to speak up and stand up for our health. 

Thank you

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