Tag Archives: Alcohol

Stoned Vs Drunk Driving: New Study Reveals Which Is More Dangerous

Getting behind the wheel while stoned is indeed dangerous but not nearly as much as previously thought, according to a study by two Norwegian researchers.

Published in the journal Addiction, the study investigated how likely drivers who had been using cannabis were to get into a car accident. The researchers looked at 20 studies and two meta-analyses published between 1982 and 2015.

The study reportedly has a more unusual conclusion than previous research because it corrected for perceived methodological flaws of past studies. These methodological inaccuracies mean previous studies overestimated the risk of marijuana use while driving, according to the paper.

“Higher estimates from earlier meta-reviews were found to be largely driven by methodological issue,” said the authors. “In particular the use of data without adjustment for known confounders,” which include gender and age.

Correcting for these factors altered the results, giving a lower-risk profile. “Acute cannabis intoxication is related to a statistically significant risk increase of low to moderate magnitude [odds ratio between 1.2 and 1.4],” the study said.

These figures compare very favorably to alcohol, according a 2015 study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (pdf). The study found that those driving with the legal amount of booze in their systems have an almost four-fold increased risk of crashing.

59 percent of Americans support decriminalizing marijuana and 52 percent say they are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a Morning Consult poll conducted for Vox and published last Tuesday. The poll defined decriminalization as “no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of that drug for personal use.” Morning Consult polled 1,994 registered voters between March 10 and March 13, 2016.

The data reflects similar findings from pollsters YouGov, Gallup and the Pew Research Center. (RELATED Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization)

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Colorado Becomes First State To Generate More Tax Revenue From Marijuana Than From Alcohol Sales

Colorado became the first state in the nation’s history to make more annual revenue off of taxes imposed on marijuana sales than taxes on alcohol, according to numbers released by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

A report from the department, which looked at the taxes collected from  July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, found that the state collected about $70 million in taxes from marijuana sales, and only about $42 million in taxes from alcohol sales.

The Marijuana Policy Project noted that out of the $69,898,059 raised on taxes on marijuana-related sales, $43,938,721 came from a “10% special sales tax on retail marijuana sales to adults” and $25,959,338 came from a “15% excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana intended for adult use.”

KDRV reported that Colorado is having a “marijuana tax holiday” on Wednesday, which will suspend all taxes on marijuana-related sales.

Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project and a co-director of the 2012 initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Colorado, released a statement saying that marijuana taxes have been “incredibly productive over the past year,” and Wednesday’s holiday will be a “much-deserved day off.”

“It’s crazy how much revenue our state used to flush down the drain by forcing marijuana sales into the underground market,” Tvert said. “It’s even crazier that so many states are still doing it. Tax revenue is just one of many good reasons to replace marijuana prohibition with a system of regulation.”

[RELATED: ‘Gas and Grass’ Cannabis Dispensary Gas Stations Coming Soon To Colorado]

The Associated Press reported that the holiday is due to Colorado’s “unusual tax law,” and is a rare move in a state that “has many times rejected sales-tax holidays on things like school supplies, clothing or energy-efficient appliances.”

The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights “requires voters to approve new taxes based on estimates of collections and state spending.”

The Denver Post noted that although the tax revenues from marijuana sales have not exceeded projected figures, “total state spending exceeded initial estimates because of the improving economy,” and as a result, lawmakers settled on a one-day tax waiver.

[RELATED: Truth In Media: Feds Say Cannabis Is Not Medicine While Holding The Patent To Cannabis As Medicine]

In Sept. 2014, investigative journalist Ben Swann looked into the federal government’s involvement with marijuana used for medicinal purposes, and he found that although the government acts as if cannabis is not medicine, they actually own the patent to cannabis as medicine.


Judge Strikes Down Baton Rouge Law Banning Guns Where Alcohol Is Sold

According to The Times-Picayune, Chief US District Judge Brian Jackson issued an order on Monday overturning a city-level ordinance in Baton Rouge that banned the possession of firearms on the property of any establishment where alcohol is sold. The particular ordinance in question went further than the typical civic ban on guns in bars by additionally banning guns anywhere alcoholic drinks of any kind are sold in any way, including grocery stores, gas stations, and the parking lots of those establishments. Judge Jackson cited the Second Amendment to the US Constitution as a part of the rationale behind his decision.

In the case in question, Earnest Taylor was pulled over in October of 2012 for forgetting to turn his headlights on after leaving a local bar. During the stop, he voluntarily informed officers that he had two lawfully-owned rifles in his car, and, even though he had not carried them into the bar, was arrested for having had them in his car in the bar’s parking lot. The Times-Picayune quotes the Judge’s order as saying, “When [Taylor] explained to [the officers] his understanding that he was allowed to carry the guns inside of his vehicle, the officers responded that there was a ‘new law’ that made it illegal for anyone to possess a firearm in the parking lot of an establishment that sold alcohol.”

Judge Jackson argued that the ordinance violates citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by banning the possession of firearms inside vehicles in locations that merely sell alcohol without allowing it to be consumed on the premises, including places like grocery stores, gas stations, and their parking lots. He also pointed out the fact that the ordinance effectively banned the sale of firearms at Walmart, as anyone purchasing one there would be violating the law.

In presenting his case, Taylor indicated that, despite the fact that he had not carried the weapons into an establishment serving alcohol, he had been arrested and his guns had been seized. Since anyone driving around the city might have to stop at a gas station where alcohol is sold, the law would give officers the discretion to apply the ordinance to virtually any law-abiding gun owner carrying a firearm in his or her car.

It is worth noting that Judge Jackson’s order and Taylor’s case did not address state and city-wide bans on the possession of guns inside establishments like bars that serve alcohol by the drink. Those restrictions remain on the books. However, Judge Jackson issued an order prohibiting police from enforcing Baton Rouge’s far-reaching law that expanded that ban to include grocery stores, gas stations, and parking lots of places that sell alcohol.

The Judge directed the city to return Taylor’s firearms and to pay an as-yet undetermined amount of monetary damages, which will be calculated in a future hearing.