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It's Not the Substance, It's the Decision

A story in the East Bay Times will have marijuana naysayers crying, "I told you so" about the dangers of legalization. Now there's another way (in addition to alcohol and texting) for people to be impaired or distracted while driving.

On Jan. 6, a woman driving at around 100 mph in her Ford Explorer lost control, rolled her SUV over the median, and collided into oncoming traffic, sending multiple people to the hospital.

The East Bay Times was short on facts on why the California Highway Patrol thought the driver was under the influence of marijuana specifically ("and possibly a controlled substance"). It was quick to mention that the crash happened "just days after the use of recreational marijuana became legal in California," as though legalization itself is to blame, rather than the driver.

Marijuana or not, the nature of the driver's impairment matters less than the decision to drive while under the influence, be it marijuana, alcohol, opioid painkillers, or something else. It's not the substance that matters, but the decision to drive while under the influence of that substance. Moreover, assuming that she had at least some level of cognitive awareness, going 100 mph is also a bad decision (whether high, drunk, or sober).

More: CHP: Driver suspected of using marijuana causes multi-vehicle collision in Concord

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