Video: Pot-Smoking Football Star Aces Impairment Test

By Will Godfrey 08/17/11

Footage shows Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris stepping out of a marijuana-choked car to perform tests and prove he's not still high.

Outstanding cornerback Cliff Harris of the Oregon Ducks college team was caught driving at 118 mph at 4:30 am in a car that stank of marijuana back in June—but star-struck state troopers told the 20-year-old that he "nailed" the impairment test. The vehicle also contained quarterback Darron Thomas and two other men. Dashboard footage just released by state police shows an officer approaching the vehicle and asking a series of questions, as the fug within hits his nostrils. "Who's got the marijuana in the car?" receives the unpromising answer, "We smoked it all." "I don't know if I believe that," the cop retorts. He later says to one of the vehicle's four occupants, "I can tell you've been smoking," and "I smelled the marijuana strong." At 5:30 on the video Harris gets out of the car, which was rented by his girlfriend. He admits smoking pot, but only "a long time ago," and is required to follow a pen with his eyes before executing an elaborate small-step routine. "You're very athletic," says the approving officer, who acknowledges that he got the moves "spot-on." Since the car also didn't appear out of control, Harris escaped with just a speeding ticket—and a $1600 fine, which his family later paid. But he'll also have to sit out his team's first game of the new season as a result of the incident. "There's no more marijuana in this car?" inquires the trooper at the end of the tape. "So if I search it I'm not going to find anything?" He seems satisfied with the answer, "No."

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.