New marijuana study’s implication on legalization debate

An update to a joint report from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found drugs were more prevalent in fatal crashes than alcohol for the first time.

The report centers on statistics from 2015 that show 43 percent of fatally-injured drivers had drugs in their system, with marijuana leading the way at 35.6 percent of those drugs.

Included in the report was a roadside survey from Washington, a state where recreational use is legal, in which 44 percent of drivers reported they had driven within two hours of using marijuana.

Ken Grant, Public and Government Affairs Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic, says these findings should give lawmakers in Delaware hesitation when discussing recreational legalization.

"These findings indicate to us that the Delaware General Assembly, and indeed all states really, should take a closer look at this issue and not rush into legalization."

Grant says AAA has been involved in the marijuana debate in Delaware, speaking with lawmakers as well as proponents and opponents, and sent AAA's official position on recreational marijuana.

"AAA opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes because of a range of public safety concerns including, a likely significant increase in drugged driving and marijuana-involved crashes, an inability to simply and accurately measure impairment, and a host of complexities and challenges that legalization would present to law enforcement, our courts, state agencies and public health."

When asked to comment on the study Governor Carney's office sent 47 abc the following statement.

"Governor Carney supported the General Assembly's vote to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, and believes medical marijuana should be available for Delawareans in need. He believes that we should fully implement the medical program, and monitor action in other states, before taking any additional steps here.
"The Governor hears from Delawareans on both sides of this debate. He does understand there are concerns about the effects that legalization would have on Delaware's roadways, and wants to learn more."

Categories: Delaware, Local News