California NORML

California: Accident Statistics Show No Evidence Of Marijuana DUI Crisis

CaliforniaAutoFatalitiesAndIncidentsInvolvingMarijuana

Drug DUI Bill Set for Hearings before Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday, April 29

The growing popularity of marijuana has raised public worries about the risk of an increase in driving accidents due to marijuana DUIs. Fortunately, the most recent federal highway safety statistics show no evidence of a MJ/drug driving epidemic.

According to data from NHTSA's Fatal Accident Recording System (FARS), the number of fatal highway accidents in California declined from 3,148 to 2,632 between 1999 and 2012; in the same period, the number of accident victims testing positive for marijuana increased from 105 to 402.

In short, highway safety actually improved while marijuana use increased in the past decade (this is true not only in California, but also nationwide). CA DUI arrests have likewise declined in the same period.

A closer examination of the data shows that marijuana use jumped suddenly around 2003-5, but has held steady ever since. Soon thereafter, accidents dropped substantially in 2006-2010 and are now 20 percent below their levels in the early 2000s.

Parallel trends have occurred nationwide. In the latest poll, a 54 percent-39 percent majority of Colorado voters say driving hasn't become more dangerous because of legal marijuana. "In short, there is no evidence of a pot DUI crisis - increased marijuana use is evidently compatible with improved driving safety," said Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., director of California NORML.

California: Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Swarmed By Marijuana Protesters In Berkeley

(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Attorney General Eric Holder encountered an unhappy crowd of dozens of pro-marijuana protesters at the University of California Berkeley's campus on Saturday when he visited to address the graduating law school class.

During Holder's visit to campus, an airplane circled above Berkeley's Greek Theater for more than two hours, pulling a banner reading "Holder: End Rx Cannabis War #Peace4Patients," reports Carly Schwartz at The Huffington Post. As the Attorney General's limo turned toward the graduation ceremony, demonstrators were waving signs reading "Fight Crime, Not Cannabis."

"There's no doubt we got the A.G.'s attention," said California NORML President Dale Gieringer. "He can't come to Berkeley and not be reminded of his department's bad faith with respect to marijuana."

Holder and the Obama Administration have been harshly criticized for the stepped-up federal crackdown on the medical marijuana industry in California and other states which allow the medicinal use of cannabis.

Though medical marijuana was legalized by California's voters through Proposition 215, a 1996 ballot initiative, cannabis remains illegal for any purpose under federal law.

California: Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties

(SACRAMENTO) - From California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on September 30, 2010.

There is a truth that must be heard! To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am signing Senate Bill 1449.

This bill changes the crime of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable only by a $100 fine to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Under existing law, jail time cannot be imposed, probation cannot be ordered, nor can the base fine exceed $100 for someone convicted of this crime.

I am opposed to decriminalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana and oppose Proposition 19, which is on the November ballot.

Unfortunately, Proposition 19 is a deeply flawed measure that, if passed, will adversely impact California’s businesses without bringing in the tax revenues to the state promised by its proponents.

Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.

In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.

Syndicate content