Edible Marijuana Labels Often Have Potency Wrong, Study Says – The New York Times

As Michigan considers whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, we should consider all of the aspects of legalization including food products.  One of the biggest challenges to states that have legalized is the issue of potency.  Potency impacts the level of impairment.  We know through scientific study at what level of alcohol in a person’s blood impairment to drive occurs.  And we know about how long it will last.  We don’t know that with marijuana.  I know there are people out there who argue that there isn’t any impairment but that just isn’t credible.

So if you are not smoking marijuana but ingesting it through food is the potency and therefore the level of impairment known?  How long will it last?  Do I want my child care provider to ingest and then care for my child?  How much time before it is out of their system?  Do I want other professionals to provide services to me without knowing their level of impairment?  What about other drivers on the road with my family?

Edible Marijuana Labels Often Have Potency Wrong, Study Says – The New York Times.

There are no simple answers.

When to Have That Difficult Conversation with a Senior Driver

Recently we have had a few situations involving older drivers that gave us cause for concern.  In one case, the driver had msenior driversore than one crash in a short period of time.  The driver told the officer that they didn’t know how their car was damaged although it was pretty significant.  In another the driver drove up a walk path to the front door of one of our buildings.  Literally.  The most common scenario is mistaking the brake and accelerator.

If we believe there are warning signs about any person Michigan law provides for us to contact the Secretary of State’s Office and request that the person be retested for ability to drive.  It isn’t just about age — it is about health both physical and mental.

As we age there are some factors that need to be considered to determine whether it is time to find alternative transportation.  I realize this problem is made much worse by the limited transportation options of seniors in our community.  As a member of the leadership team for our community in their Aging for a Lifetime efforts, we learned that transportation is probably the biggest single challenge.

Our Senior Services department does offer bus transportation to some destinations.  Call 248-364-9353 for more information.

Here are some signs that it may be time to have that difficult conversation:

  • Does the senior driver confuse the gas and brake pedals or have difficulty working them? Drivers who lift their legs to move from the accelerator to the brake, rather than keeping a heel on the floor and pressing with the toes, may be signaling waning leg strength.
  • Does the senior driver seem to ignore or miss stop signs and other traffic signals? Perhaps the driver is inattentive or cannot spot the signs in a crowded, constantly moving visual field.
  • Does the senior driver weave between or straddle lanes? Signaling incorrectly or not at all when changing lanes can be particularly dangerous, especially if the driver fails to check mirrors or blind spots.
  • Do other senior drivers honk or pass frequently, even when the traffic stream is moving relatively slowly? This may indicate difficulty keeping pace with fast-changing conditions.
  • Does the senior driver get lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places? This could indicate problems with working memory or early cognitive decline.
  • The senior driver has been issued two or more traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years. Tickets can predict greatest risk for collision.
  • The senior driver has been involved in two or more collisions or “near-misses” in the past two years. Rear-end crashes, parking lot fender-benders and side collisions while turning across traffic rank as the most common mishaps for drivers with diminishing skills, depth perception or reaction time.

If you ride with a driver who exhibits one or more of the warning signs, consider discussing the benefits of getting a comprehensive driving assessment to help identify and address any risky driving behaviors and maximize safe driving.

Most people know when their driving skills and abilities aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Two of the most common coping mechanisms used by unsafe senior drivers include:

  • Using a “copilot” to help respond to situations in the driving environment. Anyone who cannot drive safely and comfortably without a copilot should not drive at all.
  • Driving too slow or too fast for conditions. Driving too slow can be a sign that the driver is compensating for slowed reflexes or reduced reaction time. Those who drive too fast may not realize how fast they are traveling or be overcompensating due to a fear of being noticed for driving too slowly.

For more information go to AAA’s senior driving resource pages. or to evaluate your own driving go to AAA’s Interactive Driving Evaluation.

It is just plain scary

What is with all the bad driving lately?  Just this morning on my way to work as I waited at an intersection to cross, I saw cars slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting the car ahead of them due to backed up traffic.  It seemed to me that if the driver had been attentive to driving they would have seen the brake lights way before they needed to slow.  I suspect that they were distracted by their phones.

charge-carIt seems to me that it is getting worse.  I’m seeing drivers making turns from wrong lanes or zooming across multiple lanes on the freeway to avoid missing an exit more frequently than I ever have before.

I believe one of the major causes is distracted driving especially phone use.  Michigan law prohibits texting or reading your phone while moving down the road but it still permits using a handset (with one hand on the wheel) to talk unless you are driving a commercial motor vehicle or school bus.  Michigan law on texting or reading your mobile phone.  This is not just a problem of young people – I see people of all ages doing it.

Many people think they can multitask and drive while using a phone handset.  Here is the news:  driving IS multitasking. Use both hands on the wheel, check your mirrors regularly and use your signals for turns and lane changes.  Maintain a constant speed – don’t slow way down and then speed up. Think ahead and plan your route to avoid sudden turns from wrong lanes.  If you do miss your turn, continue and turn on the next street or exit. Drive defensively and look out for the other guy.

If you must talk on the phone while in the car, use a headset or many people can sync their phones to their in car systems to talk hands free.  Or you can buy a speaker that gives you hands free communication.  That is a better option so that both your hands can be on the wheel and your eyes ahead.

Better practice now, I have it from a good source that there will soon be increased enforcement statewide because it has become such a significant crash causer.

I think that Michigan, like many other states, should amend the law to prohibit talking on a handset while driving.  It would be safer for us all.  Throw your tomatoes at me if you will. If you think you can have one hand on the wheel while holding your phone up to your ear with the other and drive safely — you are fooling yourself.  I’m only looking out for your welfare–and everyone else’s.

And yes, I know that officers are sometimes guilty of this one–I’m working on that too — at least in Auburn Hills.

Share my confidence in your police

In the last week I had an opportunity to read this op-ed by Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee Police Department

Chief Ed Flynn

Chief Ed Flynn

published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  His name may not be familiar to you but he is well known among police chiefs.  He has worked in a variety of departments in the east.  He is outspoken but he is also thoughtful and employs progressive strategies to control crime and serve his community.  He can be a controversial figure because he is willing to take on issues.

I liked this piece because I share many of his views.  I am of the same generation of police that Flynn is.  I’ve also been witness to the changes and challenges over the last 40 years.  An excerpt from the article:

In a recent conversation covering the evolution of policing in the past 40 years, which covers the arc of my career, there was frustration that the same criticisms being leveled at the police today were being leveled at the police 40 years ago.

This is despite the fact that over the last 40 years, police have advanced and improved more than any other component of local government. We have become more technologically sound, have higher levels of integrity, are more restrained in the use of force, are more integrated, are more educated, are more carefully trained and are more selectively chosen than ever before. Yet we are hearing many of the same criticisms.

Did the police as a national institution fail? My answer is no. The police evolved. Fast enough, far enough, perfectly enough? No. More than the national narrative wants you to believe? Yes.

So why is there so much frustration and confusion? Because it became easy to delegate the social problems of America to the police. Over the past 40 years, there have been massive disinvestments in mental health care, social services for the homeless, for the disadvantaged, for those who are substance abusers. Our police have become the social agency of first resort for the poor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Indeed, if one did not know better, one would think society had decided that no social problem is so complicated that it cannot be cured with more training for the police. That is neither accurate nor sustainable. We throw the young, idealistic, service-minded men and women of policing into a social meat grinder and we expect them to perform perfectly at all times. When they err, we do not treat them like soldiers in Afghanistan making a mistake under pressure; we treat them like criminals. This is wrong.

The police cannot solve every social problem and be everything to everyone.  As a society we need to rethink how we deal with social ills – the police are not the solution to every problem.

Because I know them so well, as individuals and as community servants, and because I see the challenging work they do everyday, I am confident in our police.  You can feel confident in them too.

Click on the link below for the full article:

MPD Chief Edward Flynn: Share my confidence in your police.

Happy Father’s Day

I know there are many stereotypes and myths about the police among members of the public.  One of those is that police do not lead normal lives–tv and movies would have you believe that they lead troubled lives.  The reality is that while we have a certain percentage of our population that have problems (like the rest of society) the vast majority are well adjusted people who lead regular lives but choose to come to work daily to do an important job for society.

Because today is Father’s Day I want to draw your attention to and pay tribute to all of the many fine fathers that we have among our number.  They are devoted to their families and work hard to make the world a better place for their families and yours.

I know them well and every now and then when I see them with their children I am reminded of how well they do their other job-bringing up the next generation. I am proud that they are members of our department and proud of how well they do a very tough job each and every day.

So here are some of our fathers, both currently serving and former

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Top 10 Traffic Crash Locations in Auburn Hills

We are in the traffic crash reduction business.  So every month traffic crashwe look at where the Top 10 crash locations are in the city and what was determined to be the causal factor(s).  Then we direct our officers to those locations to look for and cite those violations that are crash causers.  Note that we do not talk about traffic “accidents” because that suggests that these happen as a result of an act of God or something.  They happen because someone violated the traffic law and because of the violation caused the crash.  We encourage our officers to cite the crash causers in an effort to change driver behavior.

So for 2015 year to date here they are:

  1. Walton and Squirrel: Peak times 0700-1000 hours, and 1200-1500 hours. Causes; (Unable to Stop and Failed to Yield).
  1. Lapeer and Harmon: Peak times 1100-1300 hours, and 1600-1900 hours. Causes; (Unable to Stop and Disregard Traffic Control Device).
  1. Opdyke and Walton: Peak times 0800-1200 hours, and 1500-1900 hours. Causes; (Failed to Yield, Unable to Stop, Disregard Traffic Control Device, and Speeding).
  1. Opdyke and University: Peak times 0700-1100 hours, and 1400-1800 hours. Causes; (Failed to Yield, Unable to Stop, and Disregard Traffic Control Device).
  1. Joslyn and Brown: Peak times 1000-1300 and 1700-2000 hours.  Causes; (Unable to Stop, Disregard Traffic Device, and Improper Lane Use).
  1. Ramp from Interchange to NB Lapeer Road: Peak times 0800-1000 hours, and 1200-1700 hours. Cause: (Unable to Stop).
  1. Hamlin and Squirrel: Peak times 0800-1300 and 1600-1900 hours. Causes; (Unable to Stop, Speeding, Disregard Traffic Control Device, and Failed to Yield).
  1. GLC Drive and Baldwin: Peak times 1100-1400 and 1700-1900 hours. Causes; (Failed to Yield, Improper Lane Use, and Disregard Traffic Control Device).
  1. Squirrel and University: Peak times 0800-1100 hours, and 1500-2000 hours. Causes; (Speeding, Failed to Yield, and Disregard Traffic Control Device).
  1. Brown and Lapeer: Peak times 0800-1000 and 1500-1700 hours.   Causes (Unable to Stop, Failed to Yield, and Disregard Traffic Control Device).

We use the 24 hr clock AKA military time.  If you aren’t familiar 0000 is midnight and 1200 is noon.  You can figure it out from there.

If you use these areas during the times noted you can look for us there.  We’ll be watching for the crash causers-those who run red lights, run into the rear of other vehicles (unable to stop), failing to yield right of way and the others.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – More Than a Social Media Campaign

Chief Doreen Olko:

#WhyIWearTheBadge has become an ongoing effort among police departments. Officers want to tell their story. Here is another good one. Click below on the expanded version to see their faces and read their words.

Originally posted on IACP Blog:

This post is part of our on-going #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

Guest blogger: Michelle Gavin, Community Relations Administrator, Savannah-Chatham, Georgia, Metropolitan Police Department

The #WhyIWearTheBadge social media campaign has been an incredible experience for the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department in terms of gaining community support and bolstering the morale of our officers. We began our #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign on Police Memorial Day, and have since been highlighting officers from all of our precincts, investigative divisions and special operations units. Our goal is to profile at least 100 of the more than 500 officers on the force.

When I approach an officer for this campaign, I ask him or her to get to the core of why they became a police officer or why they continue to serve. Some know the answer right away; with others it takes some prodding. It has been a fascinating experience listening to the variety of reasons…

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