Police Have Enough To Do Without Being the Pot DUI Patrol

By Howie Tune

When the legalization of marijuana in Nevada was on the ballot in 2016, I voted against it. At the time, I noted that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas had donated $3.35 million dollars to defeat the measure. My rule of thumb has long been that if Mr. Adelson is against something, it must be good for the people of Nevada and he’s not getting a cut. Despite my personal opposition and Mr. Adelson’s millions, the measure passed by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin. The people had spoken, dammit.

Don’t think I’m a Pollyanna on the subject. When I was in college in the early 1970’s I smoked a ton of weed in the social groups in my dorm and other places. I also experimented with about every chemical drug available be it LSD, mescaline and others I don’t remember how to spell. Then I had an amphetamine – fueled bad trip and that ended my experimentation with chemical drugs. From then on, it was weed or hashish only.

The reason I voted against the measure was because I felt the local peace officers didn’t need the added burden of high drivers trying to find the exit for the Rings of Saturn. My dad was a 20-year policeman in New Jersey and during the 1960’s riots, my family spent many long nights worrying until he came home safely. So I have a real understanding of the risks they take on our behalf and didn’t want to make it any worse.

Even people who don’t normally smoke, eat or vape marijuana products can make things more difficult for the police. About a year ago, I was having trouble sleeping and went to a Sparks weed dispensary for CBD drops. CBD is a chemical in marijuana that doesn’t get people high but has shown to have medical benefits. Believe it when I say I looked around the dispensary and wished it had been around when I was in college.

When pure CBD didn’t help enough, I bought a bottle of CBD/THC to try that out. THC is the active ingredient in weed that causes intoxication. One night, nothing was working and in desperation I downed a dropper full of the 1:1 drops and like magic I was soon asleep. Only later did I realize that the normal dosage was no more than a quarter dropper full.

In the morning, I woke up as high as a kite. I thought that taking a long shower would bring me down. It didn’t. Strong coffee did nothing either. I decided to go to work anyway (mistake) and got dressed and into my car. I drove about two blocks before I realized I had no business driving and returned home, safely. Somewhere on the freeway I would have been looking for the exit for the Rings of Saturn, I’m sure.

So despite weed being legal in Nevada , both medically (which I’m happy about) and recreationally (which I’m on the fence about), I choose not to partake. I don’t begrudge those who do use it; in fact the smell of it brings back a lot of great memories. I just wish there was a way to ensure that no one who smokes it gets into a vehicle to drive to – you know where.

Howie Tune is a freelance writer from "Old Northwest" Reno , with a degree in American History from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre , PA. He has written extensively on historical topics throughout his life and between 2000 and 2006, he wrote a twice-monthly history column for the Reno Gazette Journal. A special interest of his is debunking historical myths and looking at the unvarnished truth. He may be emailed at: