Why these sheriffs, police chiefs oppose recreational marijuana in NY

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ORISKANY, N.Y. (WBNG) — Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond joined leaders from law enforcement agencies across the state in Oneida County Thursday to publicly oppose Governor Cuomo’s proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New York.

Simultaneous press events were held Thursday in Albany, Oneida, Livingston and Jefferson counties.

“As Sheriff, my job is to keep our citizens safe. If this proposal passes our citizens will be less safe,” said Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, who hosted one of the gatherings at his department in Oriskany.

There, law enforcement officials cited data from Colorado which they said shows annual marijuana-related traffic deaths increased by more than 150 percent since legalization.

Click here to see a study conducted by the state of Colorado Department of Transportation in 2018. Marijuana-related traffic death data can be found on page 3.

In the study, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported the number of fatalities in which a driver tested positive for Delta‐9 THC at or above the 5.0 ng/mL level declined from 52 (13 percent of all fatalities) in 2016 to 35 in 2017 (8 percent of all fatalities).

The study also reported the number of fatalities with cannabinoid‐only or cannabinoid‐in‐combination positive drivers increased 153 percent, from 55 in 2013 to 139 in 2017.

“However, note that the detection of any cannabinoid in blood is not an indicator of impairment but only indicates presence in the system. Detection of Delta‐9 THC, one of the primary psychoactive metabolites of marijuana, may be an indicator of impairment,” the CDOT stated.

In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget address last month, he said New York should legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, a step which he said would raise an estimated $300 million in tax revenues each year.

The governor is urging lawmakers to pass the legislation by April 1, the deadline for next year’s budget.

PHOTO SOURCE: Oneida County Sheriff’s Office

Nicky Hickling

Nicky Hickling

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