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John Toker
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Aug 19, 2013 John Toker commented on Hempfest Kicks Out Man Trying to Roll World's Largest Joint.
Unlike our Safety Patrol, the members of Traffic and Ops speaking in this video are not trained de-escalators. This incident occurred at the worst place possible: a bottleneck at a key intersection of the park with a high risk for crowd crush.

[PIC] Aerial rendering of pinch point: http://imgur.com/jyFrFyq

To remain in compliance with Hempfest 2013's permit, SFD must feel that crowding issues are being managed effectively. What's more, we don't earn any points with the City passing a bonfire joint around in an uncontrolled setting.
May 14, 2012 John Toker commented on Uh, Marijuana Is Never Harmful?.
This just in: people say wacky things on Facebook. In other news, water is wet.
May 13, 2012 John Toker commented on Pot Activists Rally Against Pot Initiative.
I-502 has become an object lesson in why you shouldn't put prohibitionist policies into your pot bill.
https://sensiblewashington.org/blog/2012…
Apr 28, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
Video of the debate, courtesy the Seattle Channel:
http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/vid…
Apr 22, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
@34 - I think on this point we need to agree to disagree. My understanding is that it's almost impossible to get a judge to grant a motion to suppress without first appealing a guilty verdict.

5 ng creates a 'strict liability', which means once you cross the line, it's end of discussion. No expert testimony on the lack of scientific consensus, and crucially no more burden of proof on the state to demonstrate impairment. Under I-502, that burden goes out the window for anyone at 5 ng or above. There's no way that constitutes a net gain of civil liberties for cannabis consumers. Far from it.
Apr 22, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
@31 - We've studied the science quite closely, actually, and I-502 throws it out the window. Epidemiological studies do indicate that overall (not case-controlled) crash risk begins to increase at 5 ng. But it also says that 5 ng (again, overall) is equal to the baseline risk at 0 ng.

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano's white paper "Cannabis and Driving: A Rational Review" is a must read:
http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-a…

To your first point, a review of literature clearly shows that there is no clear correlation with THC in the blood and impairment like there is with alcohol. "Overall...studies have been inconclusive, a determination reached by several other recent reviewers. Similar disagreement has never existed in the literature on alcohol use and crash risk." (Sewell et al, 2009, Am. J. Addict.) Even Grotenhermen, cited by NAW, states "Scientific evidence on cannabis and driving is not yet sufficient to permit the selection of a numerical enforceable THC limit with the same level of confidence as for alcohol."

Simply put, New Approach Washington has not solved the longstanding problem of how to measure impairment from cannabis.

A seat belt violation or a broken tail light will get you pulled over. Bloodshot eyes or the smell of pot will be sufficient probable cause to a "Drug Recognition Expert". Local patients are reporting waking levels of THC in the blood well above this proposed limit.

NAW relies on the "most people" argument, which is true. But 'most people' aren't heavy daily tokers, and wrongful arrests will undoubtedly occur. Now, none of us knows the future, but I personally don't expect it will be anywhere near as many as the possession busts we see today. So the question becomes 'How many wrongful patient convictions are we willing to tolerate?' It's important, because once this per se DUI is on the books, it's going to be next to impossible to repeal.

Lastly, I-502 does not end marijuana prohibition. Cannabis would still be every bit a controlled substance, so the hard work of repeal will continue in any case. I'm supporting Amendment 64 in Colorado--it allows home grow without a per se DUI clause. It will set a much better statewide precedent for ending prohibition than I-502.

Thanks for the civil discourse and thought-provoking dialogue.
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Apr 22, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
[That was meant @28, not @30]
Apr 22, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
@30 - I think your arguments are strong, and I don't begrudge anyone casting their vote once they've taken the time to fully understand the implications. As I've said, I'll vote for any net progress. However, I consider per se DUI laws a mutation of the current prohibition--much harder to repeal and much more severe. Personally, I don't think it's worth 1-oz decrim. Even if it were, I'm not about to vote away the driving privileges of my friends and colleagues.

I would dispute that '5 ng makes it harder to be charged with a DUI'. You can still be charged and convicted at any level. The significant of 5 ng is that this becomes the level at which you can no longer dispute your impairment in court. This is really problematic when you consider that 5 ng shows zero elevation in crash risk, at least according to what little science we do have (including the chart in the I-502's own DUI fact sheet). Compare that to a .05 BAC, a legal amount of alcohol that triples your crash risk (equivalent 9 ng/ml THC according to the study cited). If we want to talk about the political necessity of pandering to a nervous mainstream, I'd be happy to have that conversation as well.
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Apr 21, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
Personally, I hate the fact that I can't support I-502. I wish it were different, and I take no joy in being an 'anti'. But the voting public has a right to know what they're getting and what they're giving up. Take the time to read the analysis. I-502 is both a moderate step forward and an irrevocable step back.

I'm not surprised about the hostility here. I have similar feelings toward the 'Stoners Against Legalization' anti-Prop 19 crowd and the anti-Amendment-64 I've seen in Colorado this year. Undermining progress in the reform movement is inexcusable, and protesting a measure 'doesn't go far enough' doesn't wash with me. The only reason to oppose I-502 IMO is because it represents a net loss for cannabis consumers, which I believe it does.

Dom has leveled some pretty egregious and unfounded smears against well-meaning, longtime activists who have legitimate concerns about what everyone recognizes is a deeply flawed measure. Neither I, nor any of the people I volunteer with at Sensible Washington have ties to the black market; in fact we're working to end it. (You can say from the PDC filings that these are shoestring affairs.) Dr. Mobley, who I've not met, seems more interested in conducting science on blood levels than profit. And finally, Dom's portrayal of how Anthony Martinelli was citing the Karschner study was inaccurate (check the comments).

As for the arrest question, it's a no-win situation. Do you choose continued mass arrests for a while longer, or wrongful arrests indefinitely? I certainly don't think giving voters an informed choice makes me responsible for the harms of Prohibition. By that logic, Alison's got 20,000 under her belt for opposing I-1068 in 2010. It's a ridiculous claim. I think it's fair to say none of us really knows what's going to happen.

I believe the only in-fighting that harms this movement comes from the lack of civility and reason in our conduct. There is an important and worthwhile policy debate to be had here.
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Apr 21, 2012 John Toker commented on Right Now: Pot Talk at City Hall!.
Pretty funny stuff. As I explained at the outset of the debate, my pen name on sensiblewashington.org is spelled differently from my legal name, but they are pronounced the same. As long as LinkedIn knows the difference, I figure we're good.

I totally get that it's a distraction, comes off as inauthentic, and undermines the cause. (Me, I totally stopped watching the Daily Show after I found out his real name is Jon Stewart Leibowitz.) But a cannabis law reform activist, this is about as far as I'm comfortable in sticking out my neck. Ad hominem attacks aside, I feel the argument, not the messenger, should be the focus.

The misconceptions I see with I-502 are as follows:
1) I-502 is legalization.
2) There will be storefronts.
3) There will be a federal court challenge.
4) You won't get in trouble with pot in your car.
5) We can fix the DUI clause later.

If you look closely at my dry cleaning receipt (aka I-502's own DUI fact sheet), you'll see that their own chart indicates a driver at 5 ng is at no greater crash risk than a driver at 0 ng. I find that highly problematic.

For anyone who chooses to take these issues seriously, I invite you to draw your own conclusions after reading our complete analysis here: https://sensiblewashington.org/blog/i502…

I enjoy good satire as much as anyone, and I welcome your drunken jibes, as long as they're funny. For my part, things like civil liberties, patient rights, and informed voters are no laughing matter.
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