Isaac Robert Longo, the Face of Marijuana Manslaughter?
After all, the 33-year-old Placentia man smoked pot before causing a five-car pileup on the 55 freeway in November 2007 that killed an 82-year-old woman and injured four others.
But there is more to consider here before spooking voters with this tragic tale.
|Fox and Friends fear mongers.|
Seems like the makings of a pot bogeyman, but one must also consider Longo also tested positive for the prescription medications Clonazepam, a strong medication that controls seizures and relieves panic attacks, and Gabapentin, another anti-seizure drug that also relieves pain from shingles.
I just checked, and there are no voter initiatives on the November ballot seeking to make Clonazepam and Gabapentin legal because they already are--with a physician's script.
Public Safety First, a group composed of law enforcement and MADD types mounting opposition to Prop 219, ignores the prescription menace and instead points to an unpublished report by Al Crancer, a retired National Highway Traffic Safety Administration researcher who famously authored a 1969 study showing that marijuana had no evident effect on driving performance.
Crancer, who now runs his own stats-for-hire business, finds in his new report that legalization could cause a tripling in marijuana-caused accidents.
Fox News' Fox and Friends program and its dead-behind-the-eyes anchorbots recently hosted a police chief pointing to the Crancer study as evidence that pot legalization will spill buckets and buckets of more blood on California asphalt.
However, the Fox report failed to note that Crancer still believes that marijuana is safer than alcohol. And, while pointing to a recent doubling in the incidence of marijuana in fatal drivers in California, he noted alcohol was present in about half of those cases.
I just checked, and there is no voter initiative on the November ballot seeking to make alcohol legal because it already is--if you're over 21.
What about the other half of those pot-related fatalities? Tellingly--well, un-tellingly--Crancer does not say whether other impairing substances were also in the blood of those drivers.
Remember, this is a state where Twinkies have been found to be an impairing substance.
Crancer asserts that the significant jump in pot-related fatals accompanies the legalization of medical marijuana in the Golden State. (Wonder if he issues similar reports every time a new prescription drug is released on the market?)
Dale Gieringer at California's National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) does a great job of swatting Crancer's study aside like it's a blind gnat.