Organizations oppose legalizing marijuana in New York State

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– With adult-use recreational marijuana now one step closer to becoming legalized in New York State, some organizations are voicing their concerns. Today, a press conference was held as a last effort to try to change lawmaker’s minds when it comes to passing recreational marijuana.

Among those against the legislation, is the New York State PTA.

“What we see in California, Nevada, Oregon, and other states that have already legalized, once legalized, youth marijuana usage increases significantly,” stated Kyle Belokopitsky, New York State PTA Executive Director. 

That’s not the only concern. While the use of cannabis by drivers will remain prohibited under this proposed legislation, driving under the influence of marijuana is still a major worry for the New York Sheriff’s Association and New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

“In every state where marijuana has been legalized, you’ve seen an increase of traffic accidents and traffic fatalities. It’s just fact,” said Patrick Phelan, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

The Trucking Association of New York said while it’s not necessarily against the legalization of the drug, traffic safety is a concern.

“For us in the trucking industry , the highways are our work place, and with out the ability for us to test for impaired driving, we are just very concerned as to whether or not we will potentially see an increase of accidents related to the legalization, as a result,” explained Kendra Hems, President of Trucking Association of New York.

The New York State Department of Health, according to the governor’s office, will work with institutions of higher education to conduct a controlled research study designed to evaluate methodologies and technologies for the detection of cannabis-impaired driving,

Once this study is done, a test for the presence of marijuana may be certified by the New York State Department of Health.

Although this legislation has yet to pass, it is expected to and a vote could happen as soon as Tuesday.

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