I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

· To post questions or comments;

· To follow up on class discussions;

· To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

The syllabus is at http://www1.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/gov106-fall15.html


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Student op-ed compares high driving culture shift to MADD's influence on drunk driving

I'm writing about Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and this student op-ed from the University of Alberta caught my attention in a Google alert. Much of MADD's work and advocacy over the last 35 years has aimed not only to affect policy surrounding drunk driving in the U.S. and Canada, but also to change cultural and social norms about the perceived acceptability of drinking and driving. Thanks in part to MADD, there is more social stigma around drunk driving today than there was in 1980 when the group formed. As efforts in the U.S. and Canada towards legalizing marijuana move forward, it'll be interesting to see if similar groups -- or maybe MADD itself -- jump in with a similar kind of advocacy to highlight and stigmatize driving while high. From the op-ed:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that between 1200 and 1500 drunk driving fatalities occur each year — this number must not go up if the number of people driving high goes up due to easy accessibility and lack of education about marijuana.  I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard “I drive better high.” The same was said about alcohol before the huge backlash against drunk driving. We don’t need a string of impaired driving-related deaths to spawn the necessity of a reaction like that of the MADD. Marijuana is already looked down upon as a negative substance by many, so don’t give those people another reason to want it pushed back into prohibition.  Driving drunk is becoming increasingly socially unacceptable as the years pass. Driving high needs the same taboo.

Link: https://thegatewayonline.ca/2015/10/many-precautions-to-take-before-legalizing-marijuana/

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