Trending
Most Read
  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio 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