Dells Extreme World operator charged in accident smoked pot three days earlier

Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:30 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The ride operator who accidentally released a Parkland girl on a 100-foot free fall told police he smoked marijuana three days before the incident, according to a detailed police report. But Charles "Chuck" Carnell, 33, denied he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he "blanked out" July 30 and let Teagan Marti, 12, fall to the ground and sustain severe injuries.

Read more from The Sun-Sentinel.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:13 AM

Wow. Ok. First off, I understand everyones bias and disposition towards marijuana. It's got a bad rep -- and understandably so. But that's what stereotypes create the illusion of, and that's what Hollywood portrays.

I smoke marijuana. A lot. And I love it. Sue me. But that doesn't make me some washed up idiot or burnout (as others have previously stated). I'm a hard working individual, who holds a normal job. At the same time, I'm even starting my own small business -- and yes, it's unrelated to drugs. I'm a hard working, stand up, individual.

One thing that everyone here has said is that "they need to drug test that guy." Well, if he's admitted to smoking pot three days before the incident, why bother? If you drug test some one, you can only tell if it's in their system, not exactly when the last time they used it was. The guy could have said, "I smoked three days before the accident," but really it could have been 29 (THC lasts in your system for about 30 days). It's not an exact science to where they could pin-point the last time the guy roasted a bowl.

As well, I can testify for countless individuals, much older than I, who smoke and are successful individuals. 33, and smoking, isn't a big deal. 14 States, and DC already know this -- especially due to how easily many of them make it to receive a permit, or don't even require one.

I'm on board the safety boat. We all make mistakes, including mistakes that have put other individual's lives in danger. Try to argue otherwise. But with amusement rides, they're supposed to be designed to the point where the safety issue doesn't rely on human judgement. Systems are required to be in place so that accidents don't happen. Unfortunately the procedures, guidelines, and automation for this attraction aren't where they should be for the year 2010 -- or even 1970.

Last edited by Togogogogo, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:15 AM
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:47 AM
Jeff's avatar

If I knew you where chronically on the chronic, I wouldn't hire you. I don't care if it's like health food... it's not legal.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 6:15 AM

I find it interesting, Jeff, that you "buck" certain norms & trends (like wearing a certain type of clothing to work) because they're nonsensical, yet you adhere so strongly to the nonsensicality (which is probably a real word in Alaska) of pot's illegality. Yeah, it's illegal, but we all know it shouldn't be. Frankly, I'd be more likely to hire someone who didn't adhere so strongly to such an absurd technicality. That trait shows the ability for critical thought.

Lord Gonchar said:
Lots of things make you dumb. They're just not irrationally illegal and easy to point to as a potential problem. :)

:) Exactly.

Long-term alcohol consumption does far greater damage to the brain (and other parts of the body) than any amount of marijuana use. And yet, I see no one here suggesting they'd not hire or not feel comfortable around someone who regularly gets boozed up.

Linking it to the destruction of people's lives is troubling as well. Yeah, it does really mess stuff up for a lot of people. There's no denying that. And yet, the damage weed causes pales in comparison to cigarettes, alcohol and even prescription drug abuse. Not to mention the litany of other substances out there. The point being, some people seem unable to cope with being around any intoxicating substance without it becoming a train wreck. It has nothing to do with marijuana specifically.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 8:08 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

One thing that everyone here has said is that "they need to drug test that guy."

One thing I can say about that is any company I've worked for requires a drug test any time there is any type of accident on company time/property, which serves as a protection to the company, so, I don't have a problem with them drug testing the guy or getting rid of him if he had drugs in his system.

If this was a headline that read that drugs were found in the guys system, I think that would come off as being a bit more relevant than 'the guy said he smoked pot 3 days ago'.

I'm not arguing that the information isn't necessarily relevant, more so that they didn't do a great job writing it up. Just because he said he smoked it up 3 days prior doesn't mean that he was affected by it at the time of the accident. However, if they found drugs in his system at the time of the accident, then that could very well have been part of the cause of the accident.

And as far as the comments previously on the type of job reflecting on his character, that's an idiotic statement in this economy. At least he has a job and isn't living off the system. Besides, we don't know that this wasn't a part time job or any of the circumstances behind it, so I think that was just a stupid comment.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 8:20 AM

Tekwardo said:
One thing I can say about that is any company I've worked for requires a drug test any time there is any type of accident on company time/property, which serves as a protection to the company, so, I don't have a problem with them drug testing the guy or getting rid of him if he had drugs in his system.

I realize this isn't exactly the type of testing you were referring to, but here's a study that analyzes workplace drug testing and finds the following:

We conclude (i) that the acute effects of smoking cannabis impair performance for a period of about 4 hours; (ii) long-term heavy use of cannabis can impair cognitive ability, but it is not clear that heavy cannabis users represent a meaningful job safety risk unless using before work or on the job; (iii) urine tests have poor validity and low sensitivity to detect employees who represent a safety risk; (iv) drug testing is related to reductions in the prevalence of cannabis positive tests among employees, but this might not translate into fewer cannabis users; and (v) urinalysis has not been shown to have a meaningful impact on job injury/accident rates.

Again, I realize you're speaking specifically about post-accident drug testing, which isn't exactly the same thing. However, when it comes to testing for cannabis, using it within up to 30 days prior can give the same result as using it the previous night (this varies depending on factors such as one's metabolism, diet, etc.). If there's a way to test whether someone was under the influence at the time of the accident (as with BAC tests, for example), then I'd be all for it. Sadly, I don't think anyone does this sort of testing, and I don't even know if such a test exists.

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 8:23 AM

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 9:14 AM

Ensign Smith said:
The only way I can imagine the pot-smoking having any relevancy is if he were a heavy, long-term user. Don't get me wrong -- I don't have anything against cannabis (except that it's against the law and I would never, ever try an illegal substance myself, of course). But studies have shown that long term, heavy usage can gradually take a toll on cognitive function -- like remembering to check if the proper safety measures for an amusement park ride were in place, for example.

And so does alcohol, and with a much shorter period of heavy usage and to a much greater degree. Yet he wasn't questioned if he had drank a few beers with his bong hits over the weekend.


John
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 9:37 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Do we know for sure that he wasn't asked about his drinking? I didn't read that, so I don't know, I'm just asking.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 9:45 AM

If he was, the reporter (and the police) didn't find it relevant enough to mention, even though it would be just as relevant as whether he took a few hits of a joint 3 days before.


John
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 9:54 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Oh, I agree about the relevancy as far as the news story, but I would imagine that when talking to the guy, they asked him if he'd been drinking. I'd almost guarantee it.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:05 AM
birdhombre's avatar

The phrase "drugs or alcohol" occurs twice and "marijuana or alcohol" once in the course of the article, so I'm guessing they asked about drinking too.

Last edited by birdhombre, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:05 AM
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:17 AM

I don't doubt they did.

I also don't think he tought back to whether he had had a few drinks over the weekend, or even the night before.

Since he was sober at the time, I'm sure he said "No" when asked if he'd been drinking.


John
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:37 AM
LostKause's avatar

Togogogogo said:
I smoke marijuana. A lot.


I'm not against pot. I've never tried it, but I know people who smoke it. I don't see a problem with the ones who smoke it on occasion, but I have seen how it affects people who smoke it "a lot". I'm not talking about the "burn out" that we are led to believe will happen. Doing a lot of things "a lot" is bad for you. If one abuses drugs or alcohol, rather than occasionally uses them, I consider that a crutch that keeps one from fixing whatever the real problem is. That's my definition of a drug problem.


One thing that everyone here has said is that "they need to drug test that guy." Well, if he's admitted to smoking pot three days before the incident, why bother? If you drug test some one, you can only tell if it's in their system, not exactly when the last time they used it was. The guy could have said, "I smoked three days before the accident," but really it could have been 29 (THC lasts in your system for about 30 days). It's not an exact science to where they could pin-point the last time the guy roasted a bowl.

So he could very well have lied about when the last time he smoked pot was. He could have very well smoked it a few hours before the incident.

...marijuana... I smoke marijuana. A lot. And I love it.... drugs...drug test...smoking pot...drug test ...I smoked...THC... roasted a bowl...smoke...smoking...

I can almost guarantee that you subscribe to High Times magazine. It seems like pot is more of a hobby for you.

And in all seriousness, that was a nicely thought out and well written first post. I hope we will hear from you some more when we talk about coasters and not so much about pot.

...Unless Jeff wants to change the name of this site to PotBuzz.com. :)


Edit - added the word "have".

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:38 AM
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:39 AM

Togo, the user is always the last one to know.

dj, are you that naive? You actually believe because YOU think marijuana use should be legal that if you owned a business, you would use your practices to "make a statement." Laws are absurd technicalities to you? Be prepared to live in a cardboard box then, because you'll be sued before too long by someone who's injured by one of your employees while he's in the cognitively impaired state you would allow.

Here's another study for you.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:50 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

He never said or implied that he would hire them and then allow them to perform while cognitively impared. Just because someone smokes weed doesn't mean they can't be a responsible working adult.

I've been in state government for about the last 7 years, and of course they require drug tests, but there are plenty of jobs out there where professionals can get jobs without having to be tested for drugs because a lot of companies don't care what you do on your own time.

What he was getting at was that someone could just as well go out and get drunk every weekend or smoke pot, and yet pot is illegal, but alcohol isn't, and he doesn't agree with that (at least that's how I read it).

P.S. you post things like that in a very negative tone and then wonder why I'll be avoiding you at PPP?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:53 AM

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 10:59 AM

RatherGoodBear said:
dj, are you that naive? You actually believe because YOU think marijuana use should be legal that if you owned a business, you would use your practices to "make a statement."

Who said anything about making a statement? I merely pointed out that not hiring someone because they smoke pot is a pretty absurd metric, seeing as how the reason pot is illegal in the first place is a total sham. Seriously. It basically boils down to some guy that wanted to get into politics and used his wife's uncle as a way in, and got into bed with William Hearst (of DuPont fame), who helped fund the anti-pot tirade. Not coincidentally, Hearst ended up making his investment back, since (also not coincidentally) it killed hemp as competition.

Laws are absurd technicalities to you?

Laws that have no logical basis (see above) are absolutely absurd, and I don't have a problem disregarding them. If they made, say, Tylenol illegal tomorrow (based on an anti-Tylenol campaign by a competing product), would you hold it in the same regard as you now do marijuana? That would be moronic.

...you'll be sued before too long by someone who's injured by one of your employees while he's in the cognitively impaired state you would allow.

I sure hope you place those who consume alcohol in the same "cognitively impaired" category. Otherwise you'd be a hypocrite.

Here's another study for you.

That's nothing new. Studies have long shown that "moderate drinkers" are healthier than both "heavy" and non-drinkers. Duh.

The reasons, as stated in that article, are pretty obvious. Basically, when you consume a drink or three every day, you reduce stress, lubricate social interaction and improve circulatory function.

But I'm not sure what that has to do with what I'm discussing here, which is marijuana use vs alcohol as it relates to cognitive function. Yeah, those "moderate drinkers" may live longer, but they don't avoid a loss of cognitive function as a result.

Tekwardo said:
He never said or implied that he would hire them and then allow them to perform while cognitively impared. Just because someone smokes weed doesn't mean they can't be a responsible working adult.

snip

What he was getting at was that someone could just as well go out and get drunk every weekend or smoke pot, and yet pot is illegal, but alcohol isn't, and he doesn't agree with that (at least that's how I read it).

Correct.

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:03 AM

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:19 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah, those "moderate drinkers" may live longer, but they don't avoid a loss of cognitive function as a result.

And along with that, people that get old have a loss of cognitive function. There is a difference between that and allowing someone who is cognitively impared work.

Anyone, for any reason, who eventually has a signifigant enough loss of cognitive function is likely going to be moved to another position, or let go because they can't perform their job function. Does that mean we shouldn't hire anyone at all? Some people smoke. Lots of people drink. Everyone gets old.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:20 AM

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:28 AM

Tekwardo said:


P.S. you post things like that in a very negative tone and then wonder why I'll be avoiding you at PPP?

Won't be worth the trip if you're going to spend the entire time in kiddie land or the ladies' room. It isn't that large a park, and it gets smaller as the night goes on.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 11:31 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I'm sorry, I should have said ignored, not avoid.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 12:48 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I won't avoid you, RGB. Nor will I ignore. :)

Even if I disagree with you on things, the internet != real life.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Wednesday, September 1, 2010 12:49 PM
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 12:52 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

It isn't even about that. Why would I want to hang out with someone who seems to go out of their way to be rude when they post? I disagree with a lot of people that I meet and hang out with.


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