(By Chris Sharp) If you haven’t seen it already, you will surely soon see a lot of officer-involved arrest stories in the news about police arresting celebrities – probably largely sports celebrities and performing arts celebrities -- in the state of California for driving a car under the influence of marijuana (or in its other aliases, cannabis, hash, or hemp) This is because of two reasons.  There are more sports celebrities and performing arts celebrities in California than in any other place in America.  The second reason is that as of this past January 1, California became the largest market for legal marijuana in the nation.

Understandingly, the new marijuana market is likely to make its mark on our roads and freeways. Marijuana has an effect of slowing everything a person does, including that user’s thinking and that person’s reaction to a car slowing in front of him.  Rear end collisions are already the cause of the most multi-car accidents on the freeway, and it is anticipated that when marijuana gets a chance to go out on our roads the way alcohol has been doing, there is going to be a whole new dynamic of multi-rear-end collisions caused by the drugged reaction of drivers to cars that are slowing in front of them.

It is not hard to see why then that the state of California has been advertising heavily to warn that stoned drivers will be treated when caught just as with the DUI crowd – they will be arrested, jailed, treated to a solid day of humiliation at the jail, arraigned, and if guilty jailed some more in addition to losing the almighty driver’s license and be fined enough to cancel out at least a week of hard professional work.

Of course, not even all that stops our ongoing parade of drunken drivers on the road, does it?  But at least by arresting as many as possible and taking away their drivers’ licenses, fewer people are going to be killed by these drunk and stoned drivers.

All this is being written and talked about in California in light of the new state laws that give some new freedoms of taking marijuana in the privacy of a home.  Smoking marihuana in public however will continue to be prohibited.

Read more here: A Sharp View:  If you’re fighting mad right now, don’t drive a car