Driver denies impairment

A REGULAR user of marijuana claimed in court this week that there was no link between the drug and a person's ability to drive safely.

Christopher Charles Fisher questioned the reasoning behind his appearance in the Lismore Local Court on a charge of driving with cannabis in his blood.

“There is no correlation between the presence of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in the blood and driving performance,” the 45-year-old Goonellabah man told Magistrate Robyn Denes.

“It is not supported by science,” he said.

Ms Denes replied that Fisher had not been charged because his driving was affected, but because he had tested positive for the drug and he was driving – which was against the law.

However, she added that ‘you smoke cannabis to alter your perceptions. You get stoned, high, for this reason'.

Such an affect would be bound to impair driving performance, she said.

“Driving itself is a dangerous activity. It does not need to be made more dangerous by the consumption of alcohol or drugs,” Ms Denes said.

Fisher had been stopped on Nimbin Road, Goolmangar, on the morning of April 30 by a random breath testing unit.

He submitted to the court that the laws in NSW regarding the use of marijuana and driving were a result of political ideology, and not concerns over road or community safety.

Fisher admitted being a long-term cannabis user, and a supporter of drug law reform and the Nimbin Mardigrass.

He pleaded guilty and agreed to undertake a Traffic Offenders Program before he was sentenced.

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