Trending
Most Read
  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Higher Ground

On smoking and driving

When is a person 'too high to drive'?

It should have been easy to see that driving under the influence was going to come up when voters gave the thumbs up to medical marijuana in Michigan. Marijuana is an intoxicant that has some effects similar to alcohol and opiates. It would seem to be a good thing for medical marijuana patients to not drive while under the influence of the medication. That's a matter of public safety, and not just because police have been reported to lay in wait near compassion centers where marijuana smoking takes place in order to arrest drivers suspected of intoxication. Other patients have been charged with DUI after having been stopped for other traffic violations and divulging that they were medical marijuana patients.

"There are some things you don't need to tell, don't have to and shouldn't," says Brandy Zink, a spokesperson for the Michigan Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana organization.

Hmm, maybe a variant on the old Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for gays in the military is pertinent to the medical marijuana patient.

Zink notes that the odor of marijuana in your vehicle is probable cause for police to suspect intoxication, and the presence of marijuana might give police a clue. Either of those things could lead to a blood or urine test to figure out if you've ingested marijuana. Bad behavior might qualify you for closer scrutiny too.

This is way more complicated than it sounds and prompts a lot of questions that have not been answered on the legal tip. For instance, police test drunk-driving suspects for alcohol, the intoxicating ingredient in beer, wine and distilled spirits, in their blood. A blood alcohol content of .08 or higher makes you a drunk driver in Michigan. When it comes to marijuana, a legal limit for the presence of THC hasn't been established. What's more, the majority of marijuana tests are for metabolites created from marijuana as the body processes it; they mostly do not test for THC, the part of marijuana that gets you high. While some tests do identify the THC level, most tests are for 11-COOH-THC (also known by several other names), a byproduct metabolite that does not get you high but stays in the body much longer than the psychoactive ingredient.

Under the prohibition-zero tolerance approach, police need only prove the presence of these metabolites to establish that someone had used marijuana. This is fairly new territory. For law enforcement in the past, the focus was on arresting users for possession, not for impaired driving.

In June, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that, for registered medical marijuana patients, the presence of byproduct metabolites was not proof of intoxication at the time of citation — although there have been cases where police have charged drivers with medical marijuana cards for the presence of marijuana metabolites other than THC in their bloodstream since then. None of them have made it to trial.

Still, how does ingesting marijuana affect driving? In the past, there was no reason to figure out a level where legal impairment begins. Now medical marijuana patients want to know: How long do I have to wait before I can drive?

There is no established level of THC at which you are legally impaired for the purpose of driving. However, there are lots of opinions by experts and others involved. Attorney Matt Abel, of Cannabis Counsel TLC, says that THC, the substance in marijuana that gets you high, is out of your bloodstream in "four to six hours, although that doesn't mean someone has to wait that amount of time before they drive."

That seems based on the alcohol model where there is an established legal level. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and expert witness on marijuana science issues, begs to differ. Armentano says THC intoxication for smoked marijuana has "about a two-hour window. If administered orally, we could be talking as long as four hours. This is a subject that has been studied. I'm taking calls on this subject every day now."

Armentano has also studied up on motor impairment caused by marijuana. "Acute intoxication from marijuana that could adversely affect motor skills lasts about 60 minutes. A study published just this past year on psychomotor impairment said that experienced users of the drug really didn't perform differently after they used marijuana."

Indeed, a study published this past fall in the journal Psychopharmacology, titled "Tolerance and cross-tolerance to neurocognitive effects of THC and alcohol in heavy cannabis users," reported: "In conclusion, the present study generally confirms that heavy cannabis users develop tolerance to the impairing effects of THC on neurocognitive task performance. Yet, heavy cannabis users did not develop cross-tolerance to the impairing effects of alcohol, and the presence of the latter even selectively potentiated THC effects on measures of divided attention."

Basically, they found that while drivers who smoked marijuana did not perform that badly on driving tests, adding alcohol to the mix was really bad. Nobody is saying that it's OK to drive while impaired by marijuana. However, when compared to alcohol use, the harms were much less. Or as Abel puts it, "marijuana is way safer than alcohol."

A 2007 research report from the Society for the Study of Addiction, "Developing limits for driving under cannabis," suggests a THC level of 7 to 10 nanograms per milliliter, which is analogous to .08 percent blood alcohol content in terms of driving impairment.

But that just addresses the high. There are actually some 400 different chemicals in marijuana, and indications that some of them are useful in treating some 30 different ailments. This prompts a few more questions from Abel: "What gives you the munchies? What relieves spasm? What causes short-term memory loss?"

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus