Last week Seattle tv station KIRO did a news story on driving while stoned. They conducted a test in a controlled environment which involved three participants smoking marijuana then driving on a closed course with a driving instructor and a police officer monitoring.
The participants smoked three times during the test. They all performed well even with THC levels at seven times the legal limit. It wasn't until after the third smoke session after having smoked 9/10 of a gram of grade A weed that they showed signs of impairment that would have caused caused the police officer to pull them over. Of course after smoking that much the drivers themselves were even saying they shouldn't be behind the wheel.
This report clearly showed that people can easily be way over the five nanograms of THC limit that is currently the law in WA and being considered in CO. KIRO tried to minimize this aspect of the story and instead focused on the don't drive stone message. That was kind of annoying but not unexpected from this local station that doesn't have a clue about how to do the kind of straight reporting that Ben Swann does.
What was a surprise was how other CBS affiliates who picked up the story misled their viewers as to the results of the tests. On the WCNC Charlotte website they ran video from the KIRO report but never showed that the drivers were fine for the first two rounds of the test. They didn't let their viewers know that it wasn't until after consuming a large amount that impairment set in.
Likewise Denver affiliate only reported the errors in the driving,and failed to even acknowledge that the participants in the test drove fine at more than 4 times the legal limit. This is what they tell their viewers even as legislators in their state are crafting legislation that would set the legal limit at five nanograms, which the KIRO story clearly showed is too low.
What is causing this? Why are these stations intentionally misleading their viewers? The news director at the Charlotte station asked me to call him for an explanation and I'm waiting for his return call now. I'll update if he gets back to me, but in the meantime I thought some of you might want to have a look and maybe have your say about it to these stations.
Below is a link to the original story and the two others mentioned.