Marijuana users in Washington state are now at high risk of being charged with stoned driving simply by participating in an illusionary law enforcement tactic disguised as paid market research.
Pacific Research Institute and Evaluation has received funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin soliciting motorists in select cities across Washington for blood and saliva samples in order to test for impairment. In an effort to persuade motorists to take part in this invasive survey, the powers that be are offering bribes to any motorist willing to provide them with a saliva sample -- $10 -- while those brave enough to give up a vial of their blood are expected to receive $50.
The problem with this roadside research is while the institute suggests drivers can remove themselves from the survey at any time, any individual who tests positive for impairment is likely going to end up in the county jail and charged with a DUID. Researchers have hired law enforcement officers to hideout nearby in the event their sobriety survey yields a positive result for a variety of substances, including marijuana.
As we all know, marijuana has the capacity to remain in an individual’s system long after the intoxicating effects have worn off. It is possible for someone who smoked a joint three days ago to test positive for pot even though that person is no longer stoned. Therefore, while this survey sounds like an easy way to make a few extra bucks, a regular marijuana smoker will undoubtedly raise the red flag of intoxication, which could lead to arrest, loss of license and hefty fines associated with driving under the influence.
The same survey was recently conducted in Pennsylvania, which led to a lawsuit that suggested while PIRE employees claimed to be independent researchers, they were actually working under the supervision of the Reading, Pennsylvania Police Department. The lawsuit claims that PIRE forced a man, Ricardo Nieves, to submit to a cheek swab even though he refused on three separate occasions. Members of the United States Senate have since questioned whether the $8 million program should be allowed to continue.
Reports indicate that this project to study the “driving habits of Americans” is set to get underway this month in the counties of King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Yakima and Spokane in Washington.
HIGH TIMES believes it is in your best interest not to participate.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.