Recreational marijuana opponents raise concerns over impaired driving

Updated: March 29, 2021 05:23 PM
Created: March 29, 2021 04:32 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As state lawmakers get ready to vote on recreational marijuana, opponents, including law enforcement groups, are raising concerns.

They held a press conference in Albany on Monday. Speakers included retired Greece Police Chief Patrick Phalen, who is also the executive director of the State Association of Chiefs of Police.

One of the biggest issues has to do with traffic safety. Opponents like Phelan say the legislation does not properly address impaired driving.

"We know that there will be more impaired drivers on the road once we legalize marijuana," Phelan said. "We need to prepare for that and have the law enforcement issues in place before legalizing marijuana. It's that simple. They haven't done that. They haven't made any effort to do that and it's ridiculous really, it's ridiculous and irresponsible."

The recreational marijuana legalization bill could be signed into law as early as this week.

It comes after state senate and assembly leaders reached a deal over the weekend.

It would take effect immediately, but with licensing and oversight, it could take more than a year for retail stores to open.

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