BOSTON — Legalization of marijuana would result in greater dangers on Massachusetts roadways, where authorities are ill-equipped to even know whether drivers are intoxicated by the leafy green drug, opponents of Question 4 said.
“If this ballot question passes we’re asking police officers on the street to do an impossible task. We’re asking them to determine if somebody’s impaired or not,” Rep. Paul Tucker, the former chief of police in Salem, said at a Tuesday, Oct. 25, press conference outside the State House.
Unlike drunken driving tests where blood and breath measurements can give a clear indication of a motorist’s state of intoxication, marijuana drug tests generally measure whether someone has used the substance over a longer period of time.
Jim Borghesani, the spokesman for the campaign seeking to legalize adult marijuana usage through the ballot initiative, said studies are underway that could potentially improve enforcement, and said police can now take action when someone is driving erratically.
“Police officers have every ability to pull over somebody who’s driving impaired and take them off the road,” Borghesani told reporters. There will be two studies in the field next year with researchers exploring the use of “intelligent fingerprinting” and saliva to determine recent marijuana usage, he said.
Watch: Question 4 backers and opponents make their cases