Scott Bohn, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Chief of Police Association and a former member of the Health Department’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board aired his concerns over the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state in response to Governor Wolf’s plan for marijuana legalization.
PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s Push for Marijuana Legalization
Last Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf called for the legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania as one of his major legislative agendas for the fall. You can read more about how Tom Wolf plans to use revenue from marijuana sales to help his state through the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bohn’s Distinction between Marijuana Decriminalization and Legalization
It is Executive Director Bohn’s opinion that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania will pose a significant threat to law enforcement and public safety.
He clarified his stance in a meeting with the Lt. Gov John Fetterman. Bohn supports the decriminalization of marijuana just not its legalization, stating that there is clear distinction between the two. The former removes criminal sanctions while the latter makes it available to every adult.
Bohn Expressed Concerns around Marijuana Impaired Driving
Members of the Police Association have one major concern, which is the consequences of drug-impaired driving. Bohn said, “we have all witnessed our share of crashes and traffic congestion. As well as vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. Law enforcement officials are uniquely qualified to discuss the issues and concerns related to impaired driving.”
No Current Impairment Standard for Marijuana
Bohn also stated that with alcohol there is a documented correlation between blood alcohol level and levels of impairment. He continues that this is non-existent for THC in marijuana as it’s currently impossible to identify a valid impairment standard for marijuana.
Bohn insists that states where recreational use of cannabis has been legalized are at greater risk of harm, injury and death due to the increased numbers of drug impaired drivers.
Police Association Pushes Back on Marijuana Legalization urging for more Research
The members of the Police Association of Pennsylvania worry that there is insufficient data to determine the true impact legalized marijuana has on crime and safety. Furthermore, they say that more research is needed to answer these questions regarding safety before marijuana is legalized for recreational use.
Will Recreational Marijuana become Legal in Pennsylvania this Fall?
Gov. Wolf’s call for legalization of recreational marijuana has been confronted with pushback from the Police Association and other groups. His legislative agenda for the fall proposes to use funds from marijuana sales to help Pennsylvania recover the economic damages caused by the pandemic.
Stoners Rotation will provide continued coverage on Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for marijuana legalization.