Self-driving cars are disquieting enough, but since I first wrote about the unchecked phenomenon of marijuana-smoking drivers “driving high” back in 2016 it has only gotten worse, much worse: EVERY DAY I smell marijuana stink while out on my rides.
Losers pull over near Hwy 92 and 280 to smoke a joint, then cruise on—and this is my daily cycling route. I confronted one loser smoking a joint openly just after racing past me at 80 mph at full throttle (a BMW M3 as I recall, he then parked to smoke his 2nd? joint). His most articulate comment was along the lines of “Dude, ...<insert mental vomit>”.
I’m quite liberal, in the late 19th century meaning of the word (the opposite of today’s leftist hate-everything-and-everyone anti-world). So if someone wants to smoke pot regularly, I have no objection, so long as they get off food stamps and welfare and all government assistance (including health care subsidies) and stop driving. Live and let live, literally.
I yield on this point to those suffering serious medical issues for which I believe marijuana has worthwhile uses, but not on the driving and thus endangerment issue.
As to those who seek to escape reality by abusing mind-altering drugs—a work gang building a dam or road would be an appropriate venue to straighten them out (not prison). An occassional joint? I don’t care, but stay off the damn road, or the dam road that day. But what I see is people (a lot of teenagers) driving to go smoke a joint, then driving back.
Maybe it’s time that pot took on its full and proper role of SOMA, as in Brave New World. The timing is right with all the pieces already in place and as a bonus it might reduce vomiting while watching the major news networks. The government could issue a few ounces per month along with a welfare check as control over the masses who should then in a perfect world also yield up their right to vote, should productive work be beneath them. Along with a requirement to wear a baseball cap with “Pot Smoking Parasite” emblazoned on it in public.
But back to drivers: I hope the State of California starts treating these losers for what they are: risks for death and injury to cyclists in particular, as well as other motorists and pedestrians. Maybe that’s why for the first time in 20 years I saw a sunny-day accident at a T-intersection on my daily ride—just not any reason for that to happen. Or why after pounding on the trunk of a car one day (edging into the bike line in a tight area with nowhere for me to go), the driver did not even notice the pounding (ah, for want of a hammer...). Stop ’em, cuff ’em, cite them and JAIL THEM just like any other DUI driver. Smoke pot or drive, but not both.
Ditto for smart phone users. Causing an accident while texting ought to be a lose-your-license offense. After all, if gun manufacturers (guns are legal products) can be sued for gun deaths, why can’t Apple or Samsung be sued for accidents for distracted driving with a smart phone? It would at least be consistent , even if I don’t agree with the premise.
Reader Robin K sends a note on the Weed Spit Test for detecting marijuana. Since many tests for substances or drugs can have unacceptably high false positives, this needs to be dealt with carefully, but a realiable test is a prerequisite for prosecuting DUI pot smokers.