Says 'very rarely ... stoned' due to regular use

A possible precedent-setting trial of a man charged with driving impaired
on marijuana is about halfway done following a day of hearings yesterday.

Rick Reimer, a retired lawyer living in Wilno, Ont., southwest of Pembroke,
is charged even though he is legally permitted to smoke pot because of his
multiple sclerosis.

He was pulled over by the OPP last February. Police say his car crossed the
centre median and he was subsequently charged with impaired driving.

The Killaloe court heard testimony yesterday from the officer who stopped
Reimer and a toxicology expert.

What makes this case a difficult one is there is no established way for law
enforcement officials to determine if someone is impaired by marijuana, as a
breathalyzer does with alcohol intoxication.

Reimer smokes marijuana all day, every day. He said he smokes so much, he is
almost never impaired by it.

"Because I smoke regularly from morning until night every day, very, very
rarely (am I impaired)," he said. "And when I say rarely, I can think of one
time in the last decade when I had some marijuana that really got me, quote,
stoned, unquote -- where I felt really high." Reimer, who is representing
himself, said he can't say the general population should be permitted to
drive after smoking marijuana but does say pot's effect on driving is less
severe than alcohol's.

The next date in Reimer's trial is likely to be in February or March. He is
planning to testify.


Pubdate: Friday, December 13, 2002
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Contact oped@ott.sunpub.com
Website: http://www.fyiottawa.com/ottsun.shtml
Author: Derek Abma