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Columnist Steve Lopez smokes a joint, takes a driving test

October 20, 2010 |  9:29 am

The man in the uniform had a question for me. "How do you feel?" CHP Sgt. David Nelms asked. His interest in my health was probably prompted by the fact that I was at that moment toking a joint stuffed with a bud called Train Wreck.

Pretty good, I said, already buzzed enough to wonder if this was really happening.

In my youth, I spent more than a few evenings hoping the police weren't keeping close tabs on my activities. So it felt a bit strange last week to have a group of cops paw my marijuana stash and then ask me to get high.

"There you go, Cheech," said KABC radio host Peter Tilden, a fellow volunteer. Tilden was smoking something called Blockhead, which I presume is a standard choice among talk show hosts.

As reported in my first installment of the Cannabis Chronicles on Sunday, I had been asked by Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich to help determine whether, and how, marijuana impairs driving. He recruited more than two dozen police officers from various Southern California agencies and the CHP to bear witness and study the differences between driving while high and driving while drunk.

Read the full column here: "He's a train wreck behind the wheel."

-- Steve Lopez

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