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Driving and marihuana page from archived NORML Canada website.



June 1980 Car and Driver magazine

Puff, the Dangerous Driver

... "The more dope I smoked, the better I drove"... Don Sherman, Car and Driver writer, June 1980.
Sherman's statement was based upon scientific measurement, not superstition,
religious fanaticism, or other biased opinion. He also generally commented that he had trouble
staying awake after smoking pot, except when he was driving the car with enthusiasm.
(((NOTE: a web browser like Opera that can zoom images larger and smaller
is best for viewing this old microfiched article. If you run across the original
magazine, post the article to the web in color! I recently decided to re-upload page
images in high resolution sizes for better readability - some of them are over 1 meg.
each in size. Thanks to a local university library for the microfiche and their xerox
microfiche copier. I scanned copies of the microfiche into my computer which were then posted to the web.)))



NOTE: Though a bit "tongue in cheek" in the image department, the article has real substance and value since it ultimately is really scientific, and extremely conservative as far as what the journalists' conclusions are, or may we say, what their postures taken on the subject are. The interview with Dr. Donelson is the most informative section, yet still extremely biased in the conservative direction. The presumption or assumption that smoking marihuana before driving is totally unacceptable contradicts the scientific results from the article almost perfectly.

Notice that between runs, the journalists sit and smoke pot in "the bus". "Getting on the bus" was what the '60's was all about according to Ken Keasey.

My main complaint is that there is no discussion in the article of why one or two feel so tired and lethargic after smoking pot. Were they drinking lots and lots of coffee? Were they all over-working? Regular pot smokers, generally speaking, don't feel overly sleepy or tired from pot. In fact, some people say that if they smoke pot only occasionally, it keeps them awake rather than helping them to sleep. This "tiredness" aspect of pot has never been analyzed properly. Pot is not an automatic "knock-out" drug. It is not a narcotic like morphine, or Seconol. Yet, it does help some people to rest, sleep, and heal. Rest without marihuana, is also healing as all doctors used to tell us.

My opinion is that if a person feels very tired after using marihuana, the marihuana has merely revealed the person's true physiological needs, or latent sleepiness. The tiredness just means the smoker was fatigued, but didn't realize it. Pot opens the channels to tell us, "Hey, you're tired. Take a nap. Then drive." "Old hippie logic - you need to take a nap - don't rely on stimulants.... "

Spaced out, or more aware? Pot, for most people, tends to put a person more into the momentary senses, the now, rather than into thinking about the past or the future. This might help with driving or other interesting detail work.

Car and Driver article:

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Page 9 (Dr. Dr. Alan C. Donelson comments)