Hey Michiganders – You Could Be Pulled Over and Drug Tested [OPINION]
The Michigan State Police are hoping to start the pilot program sometime in late summer or early this fall.
Lieutenant David Kaiser says that it will be a "drug recognition expert program" that will take place in five different Michigan counties.
If you're pulled over by a trooper and suspected of being impaired, "he has 12 different tests he will do, including checking your respiration per minute, looking at your blood pressure, your pupils to see if they're dilated or they're pinpointed. At the end of these tests, if he determines based on these test you're under the influence of drugs, he can then take a saliva sample, using a swab and will right there on the road, be able to determine if you've been driving under the influence of an illegal drug," Lt. Kaiser said.
First of all, let me say this: I'm all in favor of getting impaired drivers off the road. Trust me, I'm from Wisconsin, where we have some of the loosest OWI laws in the country. Drunk driving is a common problem there, and I'm happy to see that Michigan has done something about it.
However, I do NOT believe that most people who are driving erratically are under the influence of marijuana. Last week, twice in the same day, I almost hit two different people who blew through stop signs...because they had their phones up to their ears. I couldn't believe it! It's pretty easy to spot somebody on the highway who is on their phone; the swerving gives it away.
Why isn't THIS the focus? I truly feel like the Michigan State Police aren't prioritizing the real problem: distracted driving. Phone use and texting while driving is illegal in Michigan. And frankly, I don't think people are being held to this.
I have a medical marijuana card, and I'm not ashamed to say it. In fact, I've stopped taking Ambien to sleep because of it. I really do believe that most medical marijuana users are responsible; if they are not, and they are driving while impaired, yes. They should be punished. But to me, this seems like a witch hunt.
Dear Michigan politicians: we get it. You're against marijuana. You've put in a road block to prevent it from being on the November ballot for recreational use, you've closed dispensaries in Flint in the last couple of months, and now, THIS. Even though 53% of Michiganders support recreational marijuana use, this is what you prioritize? Not the roads, not the Flint water crisis...THIS. Give. Me. A. Break.
We need the money. We need our infrastructure fixed. The schools need the money. Stop wasting our time and votes on your own agenda. Listen to the people of Michigan for once!