Law Enforcement Leaders Come Out Against Medical Marijuana Bills

CHICAGO (CBS) — Law enforcement leaders banded together, announcing their position at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference at McCormick Place that medical marijuana bills are bad bills.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports, Illinois House Bill 30 would allow medical marijuana users to drive a car six hours after smoking a joint.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports

Former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration Peter Bensinger argues that’s a bad decision. He points to a Stanford University study on pilots who smoked one joint at 2 percent purity.

Bensinger says after one hour, pilots missed their mark by 12 feet when sober. One hour after smoking a joint, they missed the mark by 32 feet and after 24 hours, pilots continued to miss their mark by 24 feet.

Bensinger says that’s marijuana stays in a person’s system longer than alcohol, which tends to leave at a rate of one drink per hour.

Further, Bensinger adds, smoking is bad for us, so why encourage it when there are pills like Marinol that can treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

Bensinger also asks, if voters said they wanted to legalize heroin or cocaine because it made them feel good, would lawmakers do it? He says for matters involving public health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should decide.

“People call it whatever they like, but it’s not medicine,” Bensinger said. “The Food and Drug Administration decides what’s medicine. They’ve decided, repeatedly, it doesn’t qualify.”

John Kennedy, of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says he believes traffic accidents would increase if the bill were approved.

“A zero tolerance for marijuana, or any other impairing drug for all drivers, is the best way to keep our highways and roads safe,” he said.

A separate bill that would have legalized medical marijuana for a three-year pilot program in Illinois went up in smoke in the state House of Representatives in May.

The bill would have allowed patients to possess a small amount of cannabis if they are suffering from cancer, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease or Alzheimer’s.

  • E. Smith

    Of course they’re gonna quote research (since debunked) that supports their agenda. Nothing in the world more dishonest than a cop.Take away the financial incentives the federal government offers for pot seizures and watch these thieves change their tune.It’s all about money. There’s not a police chief in the country that gives a rat’s tuckus about public safety. No job security in that.

  • Joe Ciccolella

    I agree with Smith, and I bet most of you do too. What about all the pills people are popping bfore they get into their car. Thats what I am worried about, not the stoners. Come on people, when are we going to take control of our own country, this nation is NOT run by the police or any lawmakers. The police and the lawmakers do not have out best interest in mind.

  • Joe Ciccolella

    The Bill passed by the illiniois senate that gives Com Ed the rights to raise rates over the next 10 years is proof that the lawmakers do not have our best interest in mind. Com ed is blowing smoke. if they want thier system to be more efficiant, so they can make more profits, then let Com ed invest their own money. Veto this Bill Gov. Quinn!

  • Just Axin

    These “law enforcement leaders” are also the idiots that opppose your constitutional right to protect yourself, so go figure. They’re just political handjobs trying to look important. Let your state rep and state sen know your thoughts.

  • Chivi

    Most cop, fireghters, teachers, etc. smoke weed. Why aren’t they getting tested. The lawmakers can tell us what to do but not their own. Legalize it and many of you go broke. What’s the deal? Who died and made you guys boss?

  • Wisdom Stone

    Just like a dunce to say such a stupid thing. Causing more accidents than a drunk driver I think not . If this antiquated cop was thinking he would actually help his force becuase legalizing marijuana will take a huge chunk out of the underground selling of this drug. Basically taking away the profits from the street gangs or at least having some of the smarter leaders there of to conduct the trade as a safer business transactional process.

  • Awake

    Such Propaganda news stories, garbage….I hope you can sleep at night with that booze, and cigarettes

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