Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Drugged Driving / Author Elizabeth Wein

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Mar 27, 2017 8:00 PM

The legalization of marijuana - both medicinally and recreationally - is becoming normalized around the country.  Pennsylvania is beginning a medical marijuana program and the state's Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently advocated for the tax revenue that could be derrived from legal, recreational marijuana in the state.

One of the unintended consequences of these legalization programs is that it puts many drivers on the road who could be under the influence of marijuana and this has the attention of transportation safety advocates. When this is coupled with the use of perscription pain killers and other medications with side effects, this is a major concern for public safety. 

On Thursday, March 30th, AAA Mid-Atlantic will host the first Pennsylvania Drugged Driving Summit in Harrisburg.  Joining Smart Talk to discuss the impact of drug use and driving will be Ted Leonard, Executive Director of Pennsylvania AAA and Stephan Erni, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania DUI Association.

Also, Elizazbeth Wein's 2013 novel Rose Under Fire tells the story of a female pilot captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck women's concentration camp and the bond established by the prisoners as they fought to survive.  Wein will be the guest lecturer at Congeregation Beth Israel on Tuesday, April 4th in Lebanon.


Author Elizabeth Wein


Ted Leonard - Executive Director, Pennsylvania AAA / Stephan Erni - Executive Director, Pennsylvania DUI Association.


- Has law enforcement been able to keep up in the states that have legalized marijuana? Have they had to change practices or develop newer tests to detect intoxicated drivers? Hopefully PA police can keep pace.                                                                               - Shaun, Chambersburg

- The discussion is focused upon interdiction and control.  Addiction is a symptom of a stressor upon the individual that  becomes addicted.  Has anyone of the group heard of the rat heaven theory?  The original addiction studies used rats in isolation.  Current studies put test animals in social environments, reducing stressors and findings indicate that addiction is not present as the rat chooses more pleasurable preferred activities...eating, playing, sex, and social engagement.  Thoughts?             - Daniel

- As a former resident of a state where marijuana was legalized, I feel very frustrated by this morning's guests and their fear mongering on this issue. Marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol and can easily be regulated and maintained in such a way that it doesn't become a "detriment to society "like your guests seem to think that it is. I would hope that the next time you approach this subject on your show, you have at least one advocate for the legalization of this drug that can speak to reality and science and not antiquated ideas.                                                - Amanda, Lancaster

- I am listening and want to comment on this. I have a son who is a PHD in Natural Plant Products and he is currently employed in another state making edibles and running the quality control in a lab. He is a scientist, and works in a very professional atmosphere, in very clean conditions making medicinal products for many people to help them. I don't want any listeners to think there are shady people out there in back rooms creating expensive products to hook people on a drug. That's now what it is all about.    - Linda

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