Is it just us? Or is the alcohol industry spending money to get a congressman to pay attention to“marijuana impaired driving”? This is according to a blogger who searched Wikileaks for DNC emails referring to marijuana. What the blogger found was that the 2016 edition of Huddle published a paid advertisements from the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), which read in part:

“While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana… In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana… Congress should fully fund Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 Appropriations process to document the prevalence of marijuana-impaired driving, outline impairment standards and determine driving impairment detection methods.”

In other words, the WSWA advertisement has only appeared in the version sent to the inboxes of congress members and Beltway insiders and does not appear in the newsletters featuring that same advertisement, sent to subscribers. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law by President Obama in December, authorizes $305 billion for highway and motor vehicle safety precautions across the nation Section 4008 does, in fact, talk about “marijuana-impaired driving,” calling for the department of transportation to study the question.

The number of traffic fatalities in the United States has risen to 38,300, according to the National Safety Council, after years of declining data. This makes the daily carnage on our roadways a critical issue. But it still doesn’t mean that everyone can blame “marijuana impaired driving” for all of the casualties. For example, it’s true that Colorado has seen an increase in road fatalities since it legalized the substance in 2012. It has also seen an increase in cannabis-related driving offenses.


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