News

Volunteers get stoned and drive for science

A GROUP of volunteers spent much of 2013 getting 'stoned' on cannabis and jumping into a driving simulator as part of a groundbreaking United States Federal Government study.

USA Today's July 27 report on the study comes days after Lismore Magistrate David Heilpern raised concerns for the second time in several months about the lack of science showing how the drug affects driving.

On July 21, during the sentencing of Jackson Hart, Mr Heilpern said he could not take into account an increased risk to other drivers as the tests identified a detectable, and not a quantifiable level of drugs, such as in drink driving matters.

"The fact is that the tests that are done is not to detect an amount of cannabis in your system that will affect your driving," Mr Heilpern said.

"This is a test about having cannabis in your system."

While on May 20, during the sentencing of David Lloyd Gallagher, Mr Heilpern said research he conducted on previous cases revealed police testing methods could identify marijuana cannabis in a person's system for up to two weeks after consumption.

Mr Gallagher claimed it had been two days since he smoked cannabis when he was pulled over by police.

"There is no evidence that having smoked (marijuana) either days or weeks prior, that your driving is adversely affected," Mr Heilpern said.

"This is not to do with how this drug affects your driving; it is to do with an assessment that you have consumed this drug."

USA Today reported that the comprehensive study involved 19 volunteers consuming specific combinations of cannabis, alcohol or a placebo before using the university's National Advanced Driving Simulator.

The federally funded device closely mimics real driving - including everything from parking lots to dark gravel roads and unexpected situations, such as crashes, near misses or road hazards.

Volunteers used a vaporiser, due to the university's smoke-free campus, to consume federally-grown cannabis and provided saliva and blood tests during their drives to check drug levels.

Additional reporting by Rodney Stevens

Topics:  cannabis, drug driving



PHOTOS: Teen attacked by shark on Ballina beach

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Photos from the scene of the attack

'Bungled' shark management plan failed the community: Labor

Plans for shark barriers on the North Coast have been abandoned.

"Surfers are still being put at risk because of government inaction"

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Local Partners

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction