Boston Globe | Should the state adopt the proposed drugged driving bill? (Op-ed)
Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner; formerly director of external affairs for Worcester County Sheriff’s Department
Massachusetts was the first East Coast state to implement legal adult-use marijuana. Five years later, we remain asleep at the wheel when it comes to updating our OUI laws to help save lives.
For decades, roadway fatalities nationally and in Massachusetts were on the decline. Now they’re at a historic high.
The plan to update drugged driving laws in the Commonwealth, along with the legalization campaign promise to “regulate marijuana like alcohol” have seemingly gone up in smoke. Advocates say stoned driving laws are “a solution in search of a problem,” but the numbers don’t lie.
Here’s the blunt truth about drug-impaired driving on our roadways.
There were 158 drug-related driving fatalities in Massachusetts from 2019-21, a 63 percent increase over the 97 fatalities recorded from 2016-18.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued an interim report on cases involving “seriously or fatally injured road users” who were brought to five trauma centers, including one in Worcester. The analysis showed almost two-thirds of drivers tested positive for at least one active drug, including alcohol, marijuana, or opioids in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Read the rest of Commissioner Roy’s opinion piece in the Boston Globe’s “The Argument”: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/11/metro/should-state-adopt-proposed-drugged-driving-bill/
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