Friday, February 24, 2017

Thoughts on Marijuana

It is interesting to me how some topics seem to rise up in our public consciousness, and the conversations, opinions and perceptions seem to move at quite a rapid pace. One of these recently is the issue of marijuana.
Increasingly, marijuana has become a topic of conversation in both my professional and social circles. From the still controversial issue of medical cannabis use, to the pros and cons of the movement toward legal recreational marijuana, there are no shortage of opinions.

I have read and heard a wide range of opinions. I read recently in the Washington Post that approval of legalization of marijuana is leading the polls in every state in which it appears on the ballot in November. The City of East Lansing, MI, recently passed an ordinance decriminalizing the use and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, mirroring what has been done in numerous other locations. However, these actions may run counter to Federal and State laws, and attempts to move marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs recently failed, so clearly the conversation is a fluid one.

In more casual conversations, I have had people, both professionals and non-professionals alike, express to me their thoughts. These range from thoughts that legalization is inevitable and the correct move, to objections on both moral and public health related grounds.

The August 2016 Counselor Magazine had an interesting and thorough article on Cannabis Dependence that addressed some of these issues, including the fact that the cannabis of today is much more powerful than that of years past.

All of this leads me to this question: as ADE continues to work on developing new and useful assessment tools, what should we be asking about marijuana? What is important to you in terms of understanding marijuana use by your clients. Feel free to leave your feedback, we value your opinions.

Jim Haggerty

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Roadside Drug Testing in Michigan


Over the last couple of years, I have been having discussions with many folks about marijuana: professional colleagues, friends from other walks of life, family, etc. There is no shortage of opinions about marijuana in general, the medical applications of marijuana, and pending efforts to legalize recreational marijuana.

In light of that, I had an interesting article land in my inbox the other day. It seems that Michigan, the home state of ADE Incorporated, plans to establish a pilot program for roadside drug testing. At some point in 2016, the Michigan State Police plan to have a program in place, in five yet-to-be-named counties, where they will test drivers for drugs like marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

The testing will be saliva based and administered only by certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), of which the state currently has 99. These officers have specific training to help them identify drivers who may be impaired.

In general, the folks I have talked to have been in favor of this sort of program. There are some misunderstandings and lack of information that characterized some of these conversations, but in general people see this program as a step to combating what some perceive as an increased public safety issue.

But not everyone agrees, and they bring a different perspective to the table. "It will result in a lot of expensive litigation over how reliable - if at all - these tests are, how sensitive they are, and so on," says Steve Shelton, a Criminal Defense lawyer from Fenton, Michigan and a recent podcast guest. "I think it will also result in a lot of people being arrested for driving under the influence when they are not intoxicated, but have valid prescription drugs in their system. My fear is that these people are now going to be subjected to criminal charges every time they get pulled over and there's a police officer who wants to try out his new kit."

So clearly the debate will continue. I will follow the progress of the pilot program and perhaps revisit this in another blog. In the meantime, let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Drugged Driving vs. Drunk Driving

According to an article from The Washington Post in September 2015, drug use now rivals drunk driving as the cause of fatal car crashes.

The article said, "The number of dead drivers who tested positive for drugs has increased from 29 percent in 2005 to 39.9 percent in 2013" according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

The GHSA report also cited other studies trying to link marijuana law changes to traffic fatalities. Each of these studies differed slightly, saying legalization of marijuana had little or no change on traffic fatalities.

The report also said police officers should be better trained to identify drivers who are high on drugs.

To read the original article, go to

Please leave any thoughts in the comment section below.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Welcome to Our Blog

I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit ADE Incorporated's Blog!

First, an introduction: ADE is an assessment and software company, specializing in substance use assessments. Our staff utilizes their wealth of experience in assessing substance use disorders while embracing ever changing technology trends, and creating a product lineup that keeps us a leader in the field.

It is our intention with this blog to highlight articles we find interesting and relevant to you and your business. In addition to news articles, we will feature some of the interesting things our partners and customers are doing, following trends in both the legislative and treatment worlds, and highlighting changes and advances in our software applications. 

Most significantly, I invite you to comment on the blog posts. It is my greatest wish that these posts generate a dialogue between our partners across the miles. I think that would be interesting and helpful to us all.

Please take the time to visit the blog frequently, so you will not miss any posts.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!

Jim Haggerty
ADE Incorporated