Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 20, 2011 9:07 PM. The previous post in this blog was In Wisconsin, a splash of cold water in the face. The next post in this blog is The kids aren't blogging. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's the buzz?

In Colorado, they're talking about setting a legal limit for THC in the bloodstream while driving. Here in Oregon, there doesn't appear to be any specific threshold, but driving under the influence of pot is as bad in the eyes of the law as blowing higher than .08 for alcohol.

Is the "legal limit" approach the right one for determining marijuana-induced impairment in a driver? Should "field sobriety tests" be used instead? Are the same tests used in alcohol cases appropriate when pot use is suspected? Is any evidence more damning than an open bag of Doritos on the front passenger seat?

Comments (15)

Once upon a time a PDX cop ... uh, traffic officer found a used pot 'stinky' in my possession as he was arranging my position for a field sobriety test. (I passed as 'sober' grade. ... got back in my car and went.) He examined the smoked-pot evidence first, asked me, "what is this?," and I told him; he gave it back and told me to put it in my car somewhere he couldn't see it, and then come back to him and get my eyeballs examined.

That approach is the right one to determine cases of driver impairment, by pot or otherwise: Just check for sensibility.

[Bonus para.: I'd like to see News accounts replace the word 'drug' with the word 'medicine'. So then any car accident or Under-The-Influence arrest would report "medicines were found in the vehicle" or "the suspect was given a medicines test," whether it was a bottle of aspirin on the car seat, or prescription pills or over-the-counter pills known or unknown, or a baggie of pot, or the 'hard stuff', or maybe even alcohol in an open container -- same News write-up in each case: "There was medicine in possession, involved, or at the scene."

[Because 'medicines' is a word just as ambiguous as the word 'drugs' -- it tells you nothing specific to help you judge the incident's (un)seriousness for yourself (because you're supposed to 'keep going,' pass by, not 'get involved' and start judging for yourself) -- except that 'drugs' has a derogatory slur connotation ('medicines' doesn't), to pre-bias any judgments being made in case you decide to use yours.

[Furthermore, citing people for bad driving on 'medicines' serves (News) to develop our understanding that the brain buzz in pills The Doctor gives us is ten or a hundred times worse 'buzzy' than we get from organic nostrums grown (FREE, no co-pay) in the backyard, when there's a question of judging the degree of a person's damaged sensibility. Some folks need to take Red Pills to endure the Matrix; other folks need to take Blue Pills to stay entranced enjoying it ... to the best of joy-ability. Different medicines for different folks -- be circumspect to judge.]

... is Colorado's 'legal limit' THC an intended consequence of John Denver singing 'Rockie Mountain High'? Whatever 'High' Colorado sets, the Real West States (touching the Pacific Ocean) ought to set theirs double it. Some 'free market competition' to show Denver granola crunchers are wusses.

I remember when we used to monitor the "neighborhood" methadone clinic down on Belmont. The patients used to drive in and out -- a lot of them with Washington plates, in those days. Some seemed quite buzzed as they drove off -- but then again, some seemed impaired when they first pulled up, too.

Cheetos. Cheetos are more damning than Doritos.

Did somebody say "Cheetos"? Mmmmm...

Any marijuana, drug, or alcohol tested at greater than 0.00 should result in immediate suspension of license for 5 years.

The plaid pantry clerk near my house takes it as a mark of pride that he was able to enter "diversion" despite being so drunk that he ended up 2 counties away from his house, crashed into some other random house, and ended up fleeing from the cops in his underwear.

PJB's approach makes no sense, as some people not under the influence are more dangerous than other people who've had a few.

It wouldn't cost that much to put a driving simulator in every cop car. When someone is pulled over, test their driving skills. If they pass, ok, write them a ticket for their temporary lapse in judgement. If they flunk the test, then try to identify the problem (intoxication, distraction, old age, Priusness, etc.), and act accordingly.

In unrelated news, the sales of Fritos™ just doubled in the Denver market.

I agree w/ PJB - that's basically the way it's done in Scandinavia, so it must be the right way.

Serioulsy, allowing people to drive w/ a basically arbitrary blood alcohol level is just an invitation to drive drunk. Same goes for pot.

But I thought it could stay in your system for weeks? And how would they check? Roadside blood tests? Officer Dufus is gonna stick them with a needle?

The problem with "limits" with marijuana is the "half-life" of the substance in the human body. You would test people "positive" who had not smoked that day, but had the days before. This is a particular problem because it is the NON regular smokers who smoke on occasion that we might rightly be concerned about having on the road while they're experiencing their high.

As for the PBJ approach, while I partially sympathize with the impulse, the fact of the matter is that there is no evidence (perhaps because the government doesn't allow the testing) that regular pot smokers are any less safe behind the wheel than, say tobacco smokers, or coffee drinkers. When thinking about how marijuana effects the mind of a regular user, I'd suggest using those experiences as the best comparisons.

Once upon a time a PDX cop ... uh, traffic officer found a used pot 'stinky' in my possession as he was arranging my position for a field sobriety test.

Finally, an explanation.

Hmmm. This discussion is hitting a little too close to home for me.

Was arrested 3 weeks ago in Lake Oswego after leaving a bar. Cause for pullover was a broken headlight. I was well under the legal limit (.05 BAC) and was not pulled over for any erratic/dangerous driving. I stupidly admitted to taking a prescription anti-anxiety "controlled substance" 24 hrs prior while in custody(well past the effective period for the drug) and was cited for DUI: BAC + controlled substance. The problem is the controlled substance will likely show in the urine test even though it was well after its impairment effect. The urine test does not measure the amount of the substance in your system at the time.

According to PBJ I should lose my license for 5 years for essentially leaving the bar with everyone else in suburbia (having a trace amount of alcohol in my system) but having the misfortune of a broken headlight? Sorry, but I'm inclined to disagree. Not sure if DA will pursue but I could be out $6k defending this.

The dirty little secret with strict no tolerance DUI laws is that they are big money makers for the police/drug rehab/towing company/attorney complex. Were the Lake Oswego streets any safer as a result of my arrest?

And if you think I'm exaggerating or that this could never happen to you:

Statistically, I think we're more likely to be endangered by "normal" people who run errands and ferry their kids around while in a Xanax daze (or any number of prescription drugs). It's frustrating to hold simple conversations with these people, and it's downright frightening to watch their reaction times and decisions made behind the wheel. I almost feel safer driving in town after the bars close than a Costco parking lot at 11am. Almost.

Badges?! We don't need no stinkin' badges!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics