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Videos: Fox31 denies marijuana activist's claim that THC driving story was rigged


Here's the complete Fox31 response to Max Montrose's assertions.
FOX31 Denver responds to activist's claims of false reporting

FOX31 Denver is responding to claims of inaccurate reporting made by the participant of a report we aired in May looking at the effects of marijuana on drivers.

Our story asked several volunteers to take a driving test using a multi-purpose simulator both before and after they had taken a dose of marijuana they were legally allowed to take through a medical marijuana prescription.

Max Montrose has created a YouTube video claiming FOX31 Denver intentionally "created this test to fail and reported false news to the state of Colorado."

Our report was broadcast in May, as the buzz was building for Amendment 64, a referendum to legalize marijuana in the state. The amendment was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November.

max montrose driving the simulator.jpg
Max Montrose driving the simulator.
We received questions from viewers wondering if the new law would mean more drivers would be on the streets with marijuana in their system.

The state legislature briefly considered - and then failed to pass - a "too high to drive" standard, and FOX31 Denver tested this standard called "Delta 9" concentration. The measure proposed that any Colorado driver would be considered impaired if more than five nanograms per milliliter of marijuana were found in their blood.

To test if this was an effective standard, we recruited several volunteers, all of whom had a valid license to use marijuana for medicinal reasons. We then asked them to test their driving skills in a simulator.

The volunteers allowed us to test their blood for marijuana before taking the driving test. They then medicated and took the driving test again with marijuana in their system.

Our story concluded that the state standard of Delta 9 concentration was not an accurate or objective way to test whether someone was too high to drive.

That is exactly what Montrose has stated his own YouTube report was hoping to prove.

Further, Montrose is a marijuana activist who has hosted a show on medicalmarijuana.tv.

Since he appears confused about the findings of our report and intent on spreading gross inaccuracies about the way our study was conducted, we feel compelled to respond to his hidden camera video.

Below is our detail response. It addresses each of the concerns shown in Montrose's YouTube video in a minute-by-minute breakdown.

1:22:

Montrose says he crafted his hidden camera report to "help prove a point that THC in your system is way different than having alcohol or other pharmaceuticals in your system."

(Note: THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in marijuana)

Montrose called our report "a story with bias." However, at no point in our report did we say that we were "trying to prove" any specific point. That statement is a blatant evidence of bias. It is something Montrose's report contained, and our report did not.

3:40/3:55:

We cut a good deal of our lengthy interview with Montrose from our report.

In his video, he shows one continuation of his interview with our reporter Mark Meredith at the 3:30 mark. The portion of the interview included in Montrose's report, and not ours, shows Montrose stating that he "would never advocate in a million years anyone to drive intoxicated on anything for any reason."

At the 3:55 mark, Montrose states, "Fox portrayed to their audience that people like Max think it's okay to get stoned and drive. They did not show his full interview."

To the extent Montrose is upset that we did not use every second of footage we shot interviewing him: That is not a realistic expectation.

All news is edited. In the case of television, editing is necessary due to limited broadcast time. The question is whether the edited piece fairly conveys the information. Our report does that.

Why was it fair to omit this portion of Montrose's interview?

Every medical marijuana patient who participated in our study shared Montrose's opinion that driving intoxicated should not be advocated. Frankly, we believe the overwhelming majority of our state's population would not condone driving under the influence of any substance.

To that end, we determined the omitted portions of the interviews were redundant and simply stated the obvious, and thus they were left out of the report.

With time being precious, we seek to include only the most unique and important news. Montrose was not only unique, but alone among our study participants in his opinion that one might "come back down to what you would consider a more normal state" after using medical marijuana.

That is why that portion of his interview was aired in lieu of his entire statement.

Furthermore, we find it interesting that Montrose would criticize us for editing out certain parts of his interview and simulation when his own report contains a substantial amount of editing. Specifically, Montrose chose to omit 3 minutes and 42 seconds from our 7 minute, 9 second report.

That means Montrose included roughly half of our report in his hidden camera project. You can find our original report in its entirety here.

4:44:

Montrose's report states, "Max and the other participants drove 3 times longer while medicated, until forced to crash by the sim controller." It then shows Montrose crashing into a pedestrian or car who/that suddenly appear in front of him despite the fact that he had a green light.

"Even though I had a green light? He crashed into me? Is that okay?" Montrose asks.

A member of our crew then says, "Cut. We got it."

Mistakenly referring to our station as Fox News (we are a privately owned FOX affaliate, carrying the network's prime-time entertainment programming. We are owned by LocalTV LLC., and not by FOX or its parent company, News Corporation), Montrose goes on to say "Fox News was manipulating the simulator and made Max crash, when he actually had the right of way."

The report then accentuates this line: "Fox created a story with bias," and suggests a Fox camera man will confirm these details on hidden camera.

The camera operator calls the driving test "ridiculous," and goes on to state that he "doesn't know how that's an accurate simulator at all."

The camera operator shown in Montrose's report is a FOX31 Denver employee. However, he was not involved in any way in the writing or editing of the story, nor was he familiar with the testing methodology. He is entitled to his opinion, but that opinion was not based on accurate information.

The simulator is built to measure reaction time, not replicate everyday driving conditions. It was administered by a third party expert who is not affiliated with FOX31 Denver. We had no interest or ability to skew any simulator results, as it was being run by the third party expert.

Montrose asked the camera operator if he took the driving test. Before giving the camera operator a chance to respond, Montrose said, "It didn't feel real at all, did it?"

As a matter of fact, our camera operator took a joy ride on the simulator, not the actual test given to our study participants.

Later, at the 8:30 mark in his report, Montrose suggests the simulator was housed in a "school that tests truck drivers that drive 18-wheelers." He goes on to suggest that the simulator was modeled after an "18-wheel rig."

That information is mostly false.

While the simulator was housed at a facility that deals with commercial drivers' licenses, that is not its sole purpose. In addition, the simulator that our study participants took has multiple settings. We chose the setting for a 4-door SUV, among the most commonly-driven vehicles in Colorado.

Montrose indicates that study participants were "forced to crash." Later in his report, at the 9:20 mark, Montrose suggests that "no one aced their test, that's because no one was aloud too (sic)."

However, according to the third party expert's standards, crashing was not a sign that study participants failed the driving test. In fact, at the 6:30 mark of Montrose's report, our Mark Meredith points out that "some of the participants passed with flying colors" even though they were under the influence of marijuana, as defined by the previously-proposed state statute. Meredith also acknowledges that, like Montrose, many of the participants did not care for the simulator.

Furthermore, FOX31 Denver did not judge the simulator results. The judging of those results was also handled by the third-party expert.

Later in his report, at the 9:20 mark, Montrose states the aim of his hidden camera experiment is to "prove a point that cannabis stays in your system way longer than the effect."

At the 6:30 mark in Montrose's report is an interview with a phlebotomist. She challenges the previously-proposed 5 nanogram standard, saying she believes each individual reacts differently to marijuana.

With that fact in mind, we can find no other conclusion: Our report confirms what Montrose was hoping it would.

In setting out to disagree with a report that actually confirms his own beliefs, we can't help but think Montrose had a good deal of his report formulated before he even took part in our study.

A fair viewing of our report prior to Montrose's editing does not support his premise that we were dead-set on portraying anyone who uses medical marijuana as unfit to drive.

If anything, a complete viewing of our story calls into question the fairness of the previously-proposed Colorado statute that sets an arbitrary 5 nanogram limit.

7:45

A web poll from KDVR.com is shown at the 7:45 mark in Montrose's report. The poll shows visitors to KDVR.com overwhelmingly believe driving drunk is more dangerous than driving high.

Montrose claims we "immediately took that poll down" upon seeing the results. That is false. In fact, 544 users have been able to find this poll since Montrose claims we took it down.

You can find it here.

Continue for our previous coverage, including the Max Montrose video and the Fox31 report.

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120 comments
newsmom
newsmom

the first time i drove stoned i was so worried about speeding that i took extra care not to drive too fast.  i came to full stops, looked both ways several times, and took roughly three times longer to get home than i ordinarily did in a non-stoned state. weed-based hysteria is just another way to keep us all off balance and afraid. a frightened populace is more susceptible to government propaganda.  now i hate myself for even seeming to advocate paranoia...on the other hand, it's not really paranoia if the feds are out to get you...

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

Is Fox News trying to pretend they are a real news station again? They did a story on media 'bias' a while back. I couldn't quit laughing for a good full minute.......

WaywardBill
WaywardBill

I'll be having @Max Montrose , @Sean McAllister , @Robert J Corry Jr   and hopefully @Tae Darnell  on my premier show on Denver Open Media, "What's Next!" with Wayward Bill. in early January (date is floating at moment).. Plan on a show that will change minds.The bill has been shot down before and hopefully we will do it again or come up with something better than 5 nanograms. Don't believe in monkey see, monkey do. Washington was wrong to place a 5 nanogram limit but it's how they got I502 through.

Peace, Pot, Politics,

Wayward Bill Chengelis

Chairman, US Marijuana Party

Chairman, US Marijuana Party of Colorado

For DonkeyHotay: http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-traffic-deaths/ dated but statistically true.

Chriss Hoffman
Chriss Hoffman

Fox31 whether independent or not, this was a blatant hack job set up to make one side look good. Faux News loosers as usual.

Daniel Hamilton
Daniel Hamilton

No local station or paper tells the whole truth on anything these days. They all have a agenda. If anybody thinks 9 news, 7 news or The Denver Post are any better than Fox news you are a fool.

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

Fox needs to spend some time earning a reputation for telling the truth. Their political stories are so full of lies that it's hard to trust them on anything.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

I have never seen KDVR write so much for an online article trying to prove their point. That alone makes them look guilty or really butthurt, or both. The guy is right in that it was a poor example for stated reasons and flies (somewhat) in the face of real scientific studies. The fact they made testers crash is ridiculous. Some things are unavoidable, inebriated or not, and it sounds like this was how they chose to prove their point. They'll never admit it though.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Corey, On November 30, 2012, the Governor’s Office received your Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”) request for "any and all records relating to the passage of A64 held in both the governor's office and the governor's office of information technology (OIT)". On December 4, 2012 we extended our response period to December 1, 2012. We also informed you that we are not the custodian of record for OIT's documents. The responsive documents have now been identified and gathered and, as described below, are available for inspection or pick up. The Governor’s Office has 422 pages of public records responsive to your request. As per our agreement and as per the Office’s CORA Policy, the Governor’s Office spent a total of 8 hours collecting and retrieving the responsive documents. Thus, please be prepared to provide a check in the amount of $120 payable to the “State of Colorado” prior to reviewing any documents. Additionally, the Office’s standard photocopying fee is 25 cents per page. Upon receipt of payment, we will provide you with copies of the documents. Due to the volume of responsive records yielded in this search, please schedule a time with Lindsay Cox at Lindsay.Cox@state.co.us or (303) 866-6390 to review them. Regards, Stephanie Donner Deputy Legal Counsel Governor Hickenloooper -- Stephanie F. Donner Senior Deputy Legal Counsel Office of the Governor 136 State Capitol Building Denver, Colorado 80203 stephanie.donner@state.co.us

DummyHotay
DummyHotay

DonkeyHotay is clearly the most intelligent person and knows more than any one else on this subject. 

We should all bow to his knowledge and adorn him with kudos and likes. 

Without Donkey we would be left with only intelligent, fact based debate on a topic without juvenile name calling and copy/paste facts. 

All hail The Ass called Hotay!!!!!!!

Angela Bauer
Angela Bauer

This is BS.. If they really want to know how about setting up a coarse and use a real car... This I could do high one handed talking on my cell and fixing my makeup.. This was a Fox31 FAIL...

Marc LaDoucieur
Marc LaDoucieur

Fox 31 is manipulative and definitely has an agenda in all its reports. I don't trust them at all. They're all about sensationalism.

Tracy Strode
Tracy Strode

Does anyone with 1/16th of a brain buy anything that Fox News "reports"?

Joseph Crucia
Joseph Crucia

If Fox were really about the news, this kind of nonsense wouldn't even matter.

Michael Lewis Sr.
Michael Lewis Sr.

. Why noooooooo ........ what wouldever make you think that Fox would ever slant something ? . ;-)

Jim Mimna
Jim Mimna

Its Fox, they have misinformation as part of their mission statement.

Justice24
Justice24

The real story: In an effort to set back producers who can responsibly edit video high, a marijuana activist makes a YouTube video claiming a news station falsified a study about driving high ... when the study actually confirms his own beliefs.

You should all probably read FOX31's humorous response to Max Montrose: http://kdvr.com/2012/12/11/fox31-denver-responds-to-activists-claims-of-false-reporting/

I, for one, am disappointed that Max appears intent on giving us responsible marijuana users a black eye. As it turns out, when viewed in its entirety, the FOX31 report actually supports Max's opinion that THC affects everyone differently and states that the previously-proposed state standard of Delta 9 concentration was not an accurate or objective way to test whether someone was too high to drive.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

***  NORML McLawyers Support the 5 ng/ml DUI-m Standard !! ***

CA-NORML has an analysis of current THC-testing methods and discussion of the driver impairment thresholds on their website. 

They suggest that a blood test can accurately measure the psychoactive form of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) in a driver.

http://www.canorml.org/healthfacts/drugtestguide/drugtestdetection.html

The site also discusses 8 peer-reviewed scientific studies of  'DUI Accident Culpability' for blood-levels of THC compared to alcohol including a meta-analysis of 42 different studies. 

Take the opinion of the California pot reform advocates:

NORML conclusion: Blood THC ≥ 5 ng: risk COMPARABLE to DUI.

NORML conclusion: Blood THC ≥ 5 ng: risk COMPARABLE to DUI.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Colorado heading toward a too-stoned-to-drive 5 ng/ml standard, experts say ***

Law enforcers want to set the legal limit at 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood and recently made a critical compromise to get that standard into the state's DUI statute.

Unlike Washington state, where voters also legalized pot in November, Colorado's Amendment 64 included no provisions setting a cap on the amount of psychoactive THC that a driver could legally have in his or her bloodstream.

Washington set its limit at 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Two other states have set legal limits at 2 nanograms in criminal statutes, and several more have zero-tolerance policies.

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22165300/colorado-heading-toward-too-stoned-drive-standard-experts

Regulation Works !!

robertweller
robertweller

Interesting that Hick has press on board with him claiming his signing of amendment 64 was low key. sure, he did almost immediately, after pressure. if he had guts he would have waited until jan. 5. why does the media buy this nonsense.

robertweller
robertweller

fox is fox. studies have shown their viewers are below average iqs.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"Before even starting the 'sober' half of the test, he was already at 6 nanograms and passed without a hitch."

Let's remind the fans at home what that means. That means he was already stoned, according to the legislation they try to pass off on us every legislative session, before he had any medication. The "per se" DUID limit would be five nanograms per millileter if their law passed as it has been repeatedly proposed. What "per se" means is that it doesn't matter whether you're really impaired, you're still impaired by law--guilty!

It's possible to have metabolites in your blood long after being medicated, and it's metabolites they test for. No state should have such a DUID law. It simply doesn't work, and punishes people who not only aren't stoned, but who also drive feeling alert because they haven't had any medicine for a long time. Such drivers could be "caught" with no reason to suspect wrongdoing.

So the next time someone wants to know what the big deal is about the per se DUID law, you can tell them.

Anna Gingher
Anna Gingher

Seriously who in the world thinks weed gets you that floored to drive???! Like really? Being drunk is on a completely different plane than being stoned!

Anna Gingher
Anna Gingher

Sorry no. Driving high is NOT like driving drunk. Not in any way at all.

Chriss Hoffman
Chriss Hoffman

TopGear UK show did a much fairer test using real cars on a closed track. Drunk drivers failed predictably, stoned drivers actually performed better, finishing the course slightly faster and more accurately. It was attributed to the increases attention to the task of the obstacle course. When involving a surprise event both drunk/high reactions were slowed to a dangerous level, as we're non impaired drivers. Moderate marijuana use shouldn't improve driving, but it does not really hinder it in a measurable way. One should still use it like alcohol in moderation and not when driving, shooting, skiing, swimming, or any activity that could injure yourself or others, duh!

donleyhotay
donleyhotay

I'm a stupid fucking retard who lives in my mom's basement and has a micro penis.  I feel good about myself when I sit behind a desk all day and call other people names.  My self esteem is that of a fly.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@newsmom Thanks for sharing your experiences, newsmom. Much appreciated.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@WaywardBill "Washington was wrong to place a 5 nanogram limit"

The PEOPLE have Spoken! ... respect their self-destructive democracy in action!

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@Justice24 It would be interesting to get a hold of the 'report' the police officer gave to his superiors concerning the 'study' Fox News created for themselves....I DOUBT if it agrees with your statement: "the previously-proposed state standard of Delta 9 concentration was not an accurate or objective way to test whether someone was too high to drive."....I imagine it would read something like this:"After an extensive study by highly trained professionals it was determine that THC levels as low as 5ng demonstrated 'obvious' impairment in individuals driving a simulator in standard driving conditions. It is therefore the opinion of this body that a 5ng driving limit is necessary to save the kids and shit..Blah..Blah...Blah...It's all horse-shit, no matter how you paint it.......

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

An 'accurate' report would be one that cites the current state statistics of a 'decrease' in traffic crashes, drunk-driving, and fatalities in states with more liberal marijuana policies...It's pretty EASY to compare this data to previous year's in the state's history.....They should start with that FACT before reporting on something they 'created' for a story......

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@Justice24 After viewing the tape made by Max, it is refreshing to see what REALLY happens during these news stories and what is actually reported.....The two 'versions' really are not even close to each other...Fox made some 'un-biased' statements but I hope you are not suggesting that because they had to 'appear' neutral at some point this excuses them from reporting accurately....I'm not saying they are necessarily LYING, they are just choosing what they wish to report on....Lots of organizations do this....Like the government....Trust.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

@DonkeyHotay If somebody is impaired to the point that they shouldn't be driving perhaps they should stay off the road.  They would have to fail a roadside evaluation before they can draw blood to test to confirm THC levels wouldn't they?  Anybody that fails a roadside evaluation should be off the road.

iWannaTalkToSampson
iWannaTalkToSampson

@robertweller 

Because most of the media around here is nonsense, the night of the election I watched the local NBC station run a story on amendment 64 with a list of facts including:

-Marijuana is proven to be a gateway drug

-Marijuana is proven to stunt brain development in children and youths

-Marijuana has serious health risks

-A64 could cause an increase in marijuana use among children and teens

All statements which have been proven untrue and were downright lies. It's sad that they will stoop so low

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Annaleisle Gingher Well, the first time I got REALLY high, I couldn't walk or talk.  I definitely wasn't in any shape to drive... I probably couldn't have even worked the whole put-the-key-in-and-turn thing.  Now, I can get myself to a reasonable level and driving isn't an issue.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@donleyhotay  ... everything you said about yourself is true, Donley

Have another bong hit, loser.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@iWannaTalkToSampson @robertweller 

A64 states specifically that Marijuana is a Public Health and Safety risk, so much so that NO ONE under 21 years old should be allowed ANY legal access -- not a single gram.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

@DonkeyHotay I think he's right... you are somewhat of a douche constantly polluting the discussion boards with your spew.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@D0NKEYH0TAY @DonkeyHotay Kid's have access to medical marijuana in this state via prescription. I would imagine even more so now that it's more acceptable in our society. Read. It works.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

@DonkeyHotay  of course children should have free access. It makes learning long division easier.

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