An around the globe approach to keep marijuana illegal

April 19, 2012

As the federal government intensifies their crack down on voter approved medical marijuana in states across the nation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is increasing their support for the Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) program.  The DRE program is a program that purports to subject a citizen stopped while driving a vehicle through a series of physical examinations in an effort to determine whether they are driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol.  Like the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the research and supporting data for the DRE program is at best misinterpreted, and and worse falsified in order to allow the studies and officers to have the appearance of reliability normally associated with scientific studies.

NHTSA is increasing the funding of DRE schools across the nation.  The DRE program actually consists of three distinct sections, including the Pre-School, DRE School, and Field Validation.  The field validation section is usually performed in a jail facility where people who are brought into the jail for booking are subjected to the DRE testing.  

The biggest threat of the DRE program as it is currently being implemented is that the risk of innocent people being convicted for DWI is extremely high.  Medicines are used to help someone who has a condition which causes them a disability to return to a "normal" state.  The disability puts them in an abnormal state, while medicine overcomes that disability in order to allow the person to function normally.  As the DRE program is being implemented today, however, even if the chemical has been broken down by your body, the byproducts will show in your urine.  That byproduct is not an active ingredient, meaning it cannot cause impairment.  Nonetheless, the government is making judges and jurors believe that the byproduct is sufficient evidence of impairment.

While this arm of the governments attack on the will of the people who passed laws supporting legalized marijuana is done under the cover of DWI laws, it is a vital support leg to their campaign to continue to make people believe that marijuana jeopardizes the life and safety of all of us.

It is time for the government to come clean on the reliability of the DRE program, and their testing of blood, breath, and urine.