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Say no to legalization of recreational pot

I was dismayed to read that Gov. Tom Wolf is considering the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

Thankfully, the response by Scott Bohn, executive director of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and former member of the Pennsylania Department of Health Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, quickly followed.

Bohn is concerned about the impact legalization would have on the safety of Pennsylvania’s residents, particularly the motorists, pedestrians and special needs community.

I agree with him and cannot understand why our governor would put so many innocent people in harm’s way of those who will use marijuana and then, while impaired, choose to drive.

Bohn cites data from states where recreational use of marijuana is legal, and it is not surprising that percentages of traffic deaths related to its use have risen.

He says, “in Colorado, marijuana is now involved in more than one of every five deaths on the road.”

As of now, there is no way to accurately measure the amount of THC, the principal psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment and could be used roadside by law enforcement.

This technology is currently under investigation, and when it becomes available will be invaluable when a police officer needs to make an assessment of an impaired driver.

Until this testing becomes available, it makes no sense to put the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians at risk. What’s the hurry?

If the governor’s argument is based on monetary benefit to the state, then why is he choosing to ignore the negative economic impact of accidents due to impaired drivers?

Please don’t legalize recreational use of marijuana until more is known about how its use affects impairment, abuse and crime.

And let’s have a way for law enforcement to measure THC roadside first.

Don’t put the cart before the horse.

Sharon Beckstead

Hollidaysburg

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