Ten or so years ago some folks in the political class tossed around the idea of prosecuting people for having in their bodily fluids chemicals that suggested they had partaken of prohibited substances. Now, today, it’s a fact of life that if you’re forced (no problem, ask judges until Kern signs off) to submit to a chemical analysis of your blood, hair, sweat, piss, or shit, and if the results suggest you’ve been doin’ somethin’ naughty, you’re phoughed.
The most likely place to run into a situation with cops is on the road. You drive, get stopped, submit to or get forced into a piss test with even a trace of THC in your piss, you’re phoughed. It’s a DUI.
Cocaine, meth, smack, poppyseeds, bananas, beers, they can all getcha a DUI. Along with the most benign of all intoxicants, cannabis.
For drivers, the problem is that there is no standard for an acceptable ratio of whatever to whatever, with the exception of beers. We know that if we have had more than one and a half beers per hour during the past two hours, then we’re flirting with a bunch of bad shit if we drive.
If we choose to celebrate happy hour with any number of less harmful intoxicants than alcohol, we can’t drive at all. For days and days. At least we can’t drive without risking a life-ruining event.
If you sell alcohol for a living, that’s a pretty good deal. And, if you sell the illegal stuff, it’s a pretty good deal. After all, you have to charge for the danger factor. For Glenn Brenner it’s a pretty good deal. You’ can provide steady employment for some otherwise unemployable folks, who look at you in reverence for letting them put peaceful honest people in jail for doing nothing. In fact it’s a pretty good deal for lots of levels of the system.
But it’s not a good deal for the folks who have to pay for this Inquisition, this attempted diversion of funds to government-chosen industries which actually results in a 100-fold diversion of funds to government-prohibited industries which results in people getting killed in large numbers for no apparent reason.
The folks who will be paying, in increasing numbers for the next few years, will be drivers. Most states now provide by statute that presence in urine, blood or hair samples, of chemical markers of any prohibited chemical (there are hundreds and hundreds) is prima facie evidence of possession of that chemical and, if you’re driving, you’re phoughed.
You can, however, take heart in this: It’s all about the money. Opportunities are opening up for pleas to lesser offenses in return for larger fines. It doesn’t, however, have much to do with public safety.