You O.K. With Your Bus Driver Smoking Marijuana?

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Do you think the school bus driver in Chelmsford who told the cops he’d just smoked marijuana is in trouble?

Legally, it’s cloudy.

Picture this. He was just about to take students in a high school English class on a field trip to see a movie. The students detected a certain hard-to-forget odor. They spoke up. Administrators yanked the driver from the bus, and when the cops showed up they arrested him.

The charges are operating under the influence of drugs, operating negligently so as to endanger, and reckless endangerment.

Obvious, right?

Not so fast.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is expected to rule soon on a pending case that’s comparable. In that case, the driver admits having used marijuana. He disputes whether he was legally intoxicated, however — and here’s the rub:  there’s no easy test to prove it. The cops argue they can determine intoxication from field sobriety tests. But their findings are nowhere near as tidy as a Breathalyzer is for alcohol.

If the school bus driver was intoxicated, then the charges will probably stick. But if the state’s highest court rules that there’s no way to tell if someone is legally intoxicated by marijuana …

Consider that it’s illegal in Massachusetts for bars to offer a temporary discount for alcoholic drinks for fear it might lead to drunken driving. Happy Hour has been banned since 1984, even though bartenders are prohibited from serving a patron who is obviously intoxicated. And then there’s that handy instrument that police have to measure blood alcohol content if they stop a driver.

Drunken driving wasn’t taken seriously enough in the 1980s. But it is now, and alcohol-related traffic fatalities are way down since then.

Does our current public policy on intoxication make any sense?

On the one hand we come down hard on drunken driving, to the point where we even ban a free-market practice that has no provable connection to drunken driving accidents through measurable data. But on the other hand we say it’s legal to possess and use marijuana, and we are teetering on the brink of saying there’s no way for the legal system to punish someone who drives after using it. (Because if there’s no legally acceptable way to measure intoxication by marijuana, then there’s no way to stop someone from driving while stoned.)

The disconnection here should be obvious, even for someone who has been smoking something.

Watch CEO Kyle Reyes take on the disconnect of a state that has banned happy hours, but legalized marijuana:

Massachusetts Happy Hour

Smoke a joint and drive to a party in Massachusetts? Sure, why not? Run a restaurant and offer Happy Hour at the bar! You're breaking the law! In today's episode of The CEO Corner, how massively upside down everything has become.Keep following for more –> Kyle ReyesLIKE / COMMENT / SHARE

Posted by Kyle Reyes on Thursday, March 30, 2017