Yesterday, the Ottawa Police thought they were showing the dangers of impaired driving by giving demonstrations at the Ottawa-Gatineau International Auto Show. 

The simulation involved putting on distorted vision goggles, Velcro body weights, and headphones while walking in a straight line and counting out loud.

Police said it demonstrated what it was like to drive a vehicle while impaired by cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin. Notice the qualifier “or,” as in all drugs have the same effects which is akin to wearing body weights, headphones and distorted vision goggles.

And why go to all this trouble? Well, with legal cannabis on the horizon (or maybe in time for the next federal election) police are worried about impaired driving.

Sergeant John Kiss, who heads the Ottawa police Impaired Driving Counter Measures Program, is worried that, while drunk driving is taboo, there is “an emerging trend” among young people that driving and smoking doesn’t cause any harm.

“’What’s the matter? Have a toke. Drive. It loosens me up. I’m more relaxed. I can drive better when I’m stoned,’ – this is the stuff we’re hearing. It’s incredible,” Kiss said.

Whether or not driving on cannabis is as dangerous as Ottawa police make it out to be is not the issue. Speed, weather conditions, and driver error can all result in traffic fatalities, one does not need to bring drugs and alcohol into the mix.

Alcohol and drugs are not responsible for vehicular deaths and accidents, they are the proximate causes.

If I shot a guy, you wouldn’t say the bullet killed him and therefore I am innocent. The bullet was the proximate cause, whereas the real killer would be me — the guy who aimed the gun and pulled the trigger.

Likewise, any perceived problems with smoking cannabis and getting behind the wheel is the responsibility of the road manager.

Unfortunately, road managers aren’t entrepreneurs, but rather, civil servants who live off taxes and never go bankrupt.

If a restaurant shut down, it wouldn’t be because of the proximate causes such as poorly cooked food, rude service, bad location or unclean premises — it would be because the owners, or managers of the restaurant failed to address these problems.

If all roads and highways were privately owned, various owners would compete with one another to provide service for their customers. Those that failed (e.g., couldn’t provide safety), would be forced to change or declare bankruptcy.

The road entrepreneurs who would save lives by better managing drunk driving, excessive speeding, or — heaven forbid — stoned driving, would earn profits. There would be a financial incentive to keep roads and highways safe.

Privatization works with computers, cars, clothes, books, shoes — literally an abundance of goods and services.

State ownership, on the other hand, is the reason the Soviet Union has ceased to exist, and why Communist China opened up their markets (albeit, in a crony-capitalist way).

Canada has borrowed from the discredited Soviet economic model and applied it to our roads and highways.

This is why people die on the roads, or suffer traffic congestion ubiquitous enough to welcome the term “road rage” into common use.

Private ownership allows entrepreneurs, willing to risk their own money, freedom to discover the best rules of road. The more successful they are, the more satisfied consumers will be, and thus the road entrepreneur will earn higher profits.

Free-and-fair markets have brought Canadians world-class living standards, and this cannot be replicated by politicians, bureaucrats or taxpayer-funded police monopolies.

When the state manages roads in an ineffective way, there is no loss financially.

And that’s the issue with impaired driving.

In a free enterprise system, “stoned driving” may or may not affect the bottom-line in the same way drunk driving likely would.

If stoned driving is a problem, then what’s the best solution? Road-side checkpoints that violate our liberty? Heavier penalties? More anti-cannabis propaganda? Rewards for sober driving?

The only way to figure this out is to privatize all highways, roads, byways, county roads, city streets and even sidewalks.

Unleash entrepreneurs and rein in unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.

  • Matthew Cote

    i thought I was going to read about stoned driving, not Milton Friedman’s ‘Capitalism and Freedom’ – WTF? Is Cannabis in Canada about cannabis or ultra liberal economic theory. Should the government privatize our transportation system because cops have been trained to think that cannabis can make people bad at driving?

  • Réal Guy

    Impared driving has been covered with adequate legal code already, a long time ago. On planet Itnoc (In The Name Of Children) it was bigot anti-cannabic prohibitionist interference which blocked real-science research over decades to begin with, because it $erve$ in$talled individual$ who intend to benefit from century-old lie$$$ until retirement ideally, hoping their predatory attitude$ are never exposed openly for what they are.

    If public-funded organisations were to promote truthful fair treatment at all they’d first need to recognize practically all data made available about “Mari-Caca” (by others just like them…) has always been contaminated with toxic tobacco combustion chemical compounds + addictive nicotine when dealing with hashish smokers, for example. Instead of paradoxal laws stating that cigarettes, e-Cigs and vaporizers are all the same (e.g. except Big-Pharma nicotine patche$$$), euh… Why haven’t Health Canada even tried to ensure cannabis users are offered safer socially-acceptable consumption methods?? Why, for example, was the mother of a 6 years old boy told by them to admnister her son’s medical prescription via joint smopking?! Etc, etc. Etcetera…

    Most unfortunately it’s more convenient for our politicians to adopt the easy route, hence the “DANGER$” of cannabis to this day still mostly result from irresponsible law enforcing itself, then improper consumption methods – which is the exact consequence when voting for socio-toxic profe$$ional manipulator$ & liar$ ready to exploit fear and ignorance, with ZERO accountability for disseminating hate speech, avoiding peer-replicable science while our only astronaut-deputy in Canadian history has been apointed to administer, guess what: the minister of transportation!! M’yeap! … Go figure.

    Now lets also consider all cannabis users don’t necessarily associate to the ellusive “stone driving” epidemic movement described by our institutions turned into a bunch of mercenaries ($$$)…

    So, IMO the fact is if sensitized humans can have their skin physically irritated at a distance from simple aerial exposure (to cannabis dust while grinding cannabis), then why can’t present up-to-date technology provide us proper detectors allowing peace officers to move on rightfully with their next logical step? Which is to evaluate imparement on a public road as with anyone else, i presume.

    But the bigots wish “droÿé” blood could be sampled searching systematically for metabolites dating back to the previous month or so, which of course says nothing about imparement and everything about unjust persecussion reflecting in statistics that can prove racist/bully behaviours, objectively. Too bad the hate-lovers/love-haters don’t genuinely care for public health and safety while their ultimate goal is to promote nation-wide cultural genocide under the cover of road safety, etc.

    Whatever…

    Anyway lets attempt to tame down some of the irrational fears related to extra-libertarism in a country thriving on private capitalism as long as money continues to pour in a few privileged nets, then socialism once it’s time to ask all of the nation’s citizens to pay silently for bills… Forget responsible excuses as suggested by Dana Larsen, much less legitimate compensation by potential abusers causing durable prejudice including even death into such a twisted deal: remember, they shoot to kill. Right? I mean, never call a cop to teach a lesson, especially in Trudeau’s “legaleezed” Canada! Or if you prefer, simply wait for the outcome of UNGASS 2016, on planet Itnoc… Then please consider coming back here to complain again about biased information, if you dare!!