Streams

Washington State's 'Pot Czar' on Legalization

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, has been chosen to lead Washington State's marijuana regulation now that the state has legalized the drug. He discusses legal considerations in the state, from where you can smoke to driving under the influence, and reflects on recent polling that finds that a majority of Americans think marijuana should be legalized.

 

Guests:

Mark Kleiman
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Comments [24]

Greg from Spuyten Duyvil

April from Manhattan: tell your friend to explore vaporizers. Largely smoke-free, much safer method. Back when I did smoke, it helped save my singing voice and reduce cough.

Apr. 12 2013 11:49 AM
Greg from Spuyten Duyvil

Nationwide legalization of marijuana would cripple the Mexican gang mafias, and prevent massive amounts of drug-gang murders in Mexico and the United States. Makes you kind of wonder though, if somebody (US gov't) is in cahoots w/ Mexican drug gangs...gee! I never thought of that! NRA, perhaps? A LOT of gun profits come in thanks to those drug gangs....marijuana and guns: closely related issues.

Apr. 12 2013 11:45 AM
Greg from Spuyten Duyvil

To even hint the driving while stoned and driving while drunk are equally dangerous is surprisingly devoid of fact-based thinking on the guest's part. I recall one statistic some years ago that placed drunk driving fatalities nationwide in the 10s of thousands--fatalities resulting from marijuana use/driving while stoned: ZERO. Do the math...

Apr. 12 2013 11:40 AM
John A

America itself doesn't seen to have the willpower to stop much of anything right now, including/especially economic slides. So it's gonna be "Saun of the Dead" from now until people can no longer stand the moral and economic decline.

Apr. 12 2013 11:37 AM

Brian, you cannot smoke in a bar or restaurant! Yes, you can smoke on the streets, discreetly. The only place you are legally allowed to smoke in Amsterdam is the coffeeshops. Pot is not legal in the Netherlands, just decriminalized. Portugal too.

Apr. 12 2013 11:31 AM
Al

Just tuned in.
Where did you find this total jerk?
Pot users are predominantly the semi-literate underclass???
Well, most of my acquaintences are professionals--MBA's,
MD's, lawyers, academics, etc. and almost all of them are recreational weed smokers.
If this putz were to poll his colleagues at UCLA, he would find that most of them toke from time to time.
Get real.

Apr. 12 2013 11:29 AM

John, you'll end up living with your parents in your thirties with a Bachelor's degree and NO drug habit if you live in NY.

Apr. 12 2013 11:29 AM
April from Manhattan

Two of the three most of the dangerous drugs are legal. Alcohol and nicotine. The third is cocaine. Why not legalize marijuana? How many poor people (mostly black and latino) go to prison because of the 3 strikes and you're In Jail. Whites walk down the street w/o being stop and frisked. What I'd like to know is how dangerous is it for your lungs to smoke. A Canadian friend can barely walk up stairs. Is there a safer method now to smoke?

Apr. 12 2013 11:28 AM

No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis.
see my post below

Apr. 12 2013 11:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

You can get addicted to almost anything. Breaking any addiction has to do with willpower. When you finally decide that your addiction to whatever, be it tobacco, alcohol, drugs, FOOD, sugar, et al. is not worth to what it is doing to your life, your health, your ability to shape your own life, and decide not to let it do so and summon the WILL to break the habit that is taking over and ruining your life, you can beat it.

Apr. 12 2013 11:26 AM

LEGALIZE IT!!

Then, take the $15 BILLION a year ($500/sec!!!) we spend on the ridiculous and futile "War" on drugs and the subsequent tax revenue and INVEST it in treatment and preventative EDUCATION!!

STOP the InKarceration-Industrial Komplex®!!! It's a waste of time and ENORMOUS amounts of CASH!! AND, it DOES NOT work.

Apr. 12 2013 11:26 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

There is an entire cadre of Boomers who want so passionately to believe that marijuana is a problem-free substance.

They dismiss all the possible negative effects, particularly on young people, who are more impressionable than (most of) older folks. They ignore the related associated behaviors of the drug culture as a whole. And they dismiss the entire concept of grass as a gateway drug.

And they ignore the physical effects of drugs on the brain, especially on the developing brains of youth.

The answer to these issues is NOT to say, "well alcohol...." That only goes so far; there ARE differences, some physical, some cultural, between alcohol and marijuana (and other drugs.)

Apr. 12 2013 11:26 AM
john from office

I smoked as a kid and am now anti drugs. Pot kills your ambition, dont do it. You will end up in your parents basement in your 30's.

Apr. 12 2013 11:26 AM

SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
Abstract

The driving performance is easily impaired as a consequence of the use of alcohol and/or licit and illicit drugs. However, the role of drugs other than alcohol in motor vehicle accidents has not been well established. The objective of this study was to estimate the association between psychoactive drug use and motor vehicle accidents requiring hospitalisation. A prospective observational case-control study was conducted in the Tilburg region of The Netherlands from May 2000 to August 2001.

Cases were car or van drivers involved in road crashes needing hospitalisation. Demographic and trauma related data was collected from hospital and ambulance records. Urine and/or blood samples were collected on admission. Controls were drivers recruited at random while driving on public roads. Sampling was conducted by researchers, in close collaboration with the Tilburg police, covering different days of the week and times of the day. Respondents were interviewed and asked for a urine sample. If no urine sample could be collected, a blood sample was requested. All blood and urine samples were tested for alcohol and a number of licit and illicit drugs. The main outcome measures were odds ratios (OR) for injury crash associated with single or multiple use of several drugs by drivers. The risk for road trauma was increased for single use of benzodiazepines (adjusted OR 5.1 (95% Cl: 1.8-14.0)) and alcohol (blood alcohol concentrations of 0.50-0.79 g/l, adjusted OR 5.5 (95% Cl: 1.3-23.2) and >or=0.8 g/l, adjusted OR 15.5 (95% Cl: 7.1-33.9)). High relative risks were estimated for drivers using combinations of drugs (adjusted OR 6.1 (95% Cl: 2.6-14.1)) and those using a combination of drugs and alcohol (OR 112.2 (95% Cl: 14.1-892)). Increased risks, although not statistically significantly, were assessed for drivers using amphetamines, cocaine, or opiates. No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis. The study concludes that drug use, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines and multiple drug use and drug-alcohol combinations, among vehicle drivers increases the risk for a road trauma accident requiring hospitalisation.

Apr. 12 2013 11:25 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Caller needs to learn the difference between 'addicting' and 'habit forming'. From my seventh grade health class - no physical withdrawal, it's all psychological e.g. giving up alcohol cold turkey could kill you.

It's like saying 'addicted' to violent video games or Internet porn. It takes a very loose definition of addiction. Heck, I'm addicted to orgasms.

Apr. 12 2013 11:24 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Mr. Kleiman's statement that it's the "mean drunks" who cause the serious/fatal car accidents seems too facile. Doesn't alcohol also impair the ability to tell how fast you're driving & the reflexes to stop in time, whether you're a mean drunk or not? Are there any parallels w/marijuana's effects?

Apr. 12 2013 11:24 AM
Larry from Brooklyn

As a neuroscientist, I have to say that your guest is very good on explaining the issues with cannabis both socially and scientifically. "Addiction" is a powerfully drug reinforced behavior. It is a minority response regardless of whether we are talking about heroin, cannabis and alcohol. It is devastating for those who become addicted but this idea that there is "physical" and "psychological" addiction and one is worse than the other is a fallacy.

Apr. 12 2013 11:24 AM
The Truth from Becky

This is how it starts...decriminalizing, it's not addictive etc..

Apr. 12 2013 11:23 AM

MJ & driving Increased risks, although not statistically significantly, were assessed for drivers using amphetamines, cocaine, or opiates. No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis. The study concludes that drug use, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines and multiple drug use and drug-alcohol combinations, among vehicle drivers increases the risk for a road trauma accident requiring hospitalisation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15094417?dopt=Abstract
cid Anal Prev. 2004 Jul;36(4):631-6.
Psychoactive substance use and the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
Movig KL, Mathijssen MP, Nagel PH, van Egmond T, de Gier JJ, Leufkens HG, Egberts AC.
Source

SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
Abstract

The driving performance is easily impaired as a consequence of the use of alcohol and/or licit and illicit drugs. However, the role of drugs other than alcohol in motor vehicle accidents has not been well established. The objective of this study was to estimate the association between psychoactive drug use and motor vehicle accidents requiring hospitalisation. A prospective observational case-control study was conducted in the Tilburg region of The Netherlands from May 2000 to August 2001.

Apr. 12 2013 11:22 AM
paul from nyc

When was younger I used to enjoy smoking pot with friends quite frequently, now that I am older (early 40's) I find I don't feel like smoking at all and don't enjoy much like I used to anymore. I am wondering if something in our brain-chemistry changes as we age to make it less enjoyable? Or is it life and stress, etc?

Apr. 12 2013 11:18 AM
Nina from Village

One thing that never comes up in the coverage of the pot legalization issue is STENCH! Some of us, who may not care what people do in their private lives, who, in fact, support the use of medical marijuana, who do not consider themselves extremists, simply find the odor of smoking weed absolutely revolting, and don't want it in their faces all the time. Walking the streets can be stinky enough; wouldn't legalization make it even worse???!!!!

Apr. 12 2013 11:18 AM

Australia & England studied the effects of MJ on Automobile death rates. There was no effect.

Apr. 12 2013 11:17 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I definitely believe in de-crimminalizing drugs but I'm not sure about sanctioning businesses to sell them. It seems too complicated to rate the potency of pot.

We will be seeing middle-aged stroller moms, flipping out in Park Slope, after having their first pot-brownie since college.

Apr. 12 2013 11:17 AM

I LOVE this guy!!

...and I don't even smoke weed!!

Apr. 12 2013 11:16 AM

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