Kayla Mendoza's Mistake Doesn't Mean Marijuana Shouldn't Be Legalized
Most notably, people have taken to the comments in our original post of this story to debate the effects of marijuana when it comes to driving and whether this incident is a reason why it shouldn't be legalized in Florida.
Mendoza called herself the "pothead princess" on Twitter, and her account is riddled with allusions to smoking weed.
But this isolated incident should not halt the drive to legalize marijuana in Florida.
First of all, statistically speaking, weed alone just doesn't cause traffic deaths.
In July 2012, the National Institute on Drug Abuse cited a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that showed 6.8 percent of motorists involved in accidents tested positive for cannabis.
Certainly Mendoza falls into this category. But keep in mind that she allegedly had booze in her system in addition to weed.
Six percent is nothing. An argument can be made that the reason the number is low is due to marijuana being illegal. But a better question would be: How many of these drivers also had booze in their system as well as weed (like Mendoza allegedly had)? There's also a matter of dosage and consumption.
Secondly, weed, on its own, is not a bad thing.
We already know that alcohol severely impairs driving. In this 2009 article, Yale psychiatrist Richard Sewell found that booze is far more dangerous for drivers than weed.