(Photo by Flickr user Sacramento Regional Safety Forum)
AAA Mid-Atlantic is lobbying to bring awareness to the dangers of legalizing recreational marijuana this Thursday at Legislative Hall.
The motor club has been one of the most vocal in their opposition of House Bill 110, which would allow state residents 21 and over to purchase up to ounce of marijuana from stores that are licensed to sell cannabis that has been grown in Delaware.
Officials will also be at Legislative Hall Wednesday for the committee meeting on the issue.
“This week will be very telling for us,” said Ken Grant, Public Affairs and Government Manager for AAA-Mid – Atlantic.
On Thursday, executives will give people the opportunity to try on “marijuana goggles,” in order to experience what it is like to be under the influence of the narcotic.
“The goggles are not meant to replicate what it is like to be high,” Grant said. “We are using them as a way to recreate a deficiency of perception. They demonstrate one form of impairment. But, they are also meant to be a conversation starter.”
The company is against legalizing recreational marijuana use because of the trouble it will have on traffic safety, according to Grant.
“Traffic safety is our biggest concern. We have seen reports from states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and there are more reports of marijuana being a factor in traffic accidents,” he said.
A 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report said that in Washington, which became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012, there was an uptick of drivers involved in fatal crashes that had used marijuana before the crash.
Since House Bill 110 was introduced in March, several other organizations, such as Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and Sunday Breakfast Mission, have made statements opposing the legalizing of recreational pot use.
“We are urging the legislators to stop and slow down before they make a decision on this bill,” said Grant.
AAA Mid-Atlantic will not be alone at Legislative Hall on May 11. Members of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network will also be there. The group, which advocates for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis in Delaware, will be holding their ninth annual Citizens’ Cannabis Lobby Day.
Grant made it clear that the organization did not purposely schedule the marijuana googles demonstration on the same day as the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network’s Lobby Day event.
“This was in no way intentional,” he said. “We were originally going to set up on May 3, but then we realized that was the same day they were honoring the fallen trooper. We did not want to interfere with that or have anything overshadow that.” Grant added that the two organizations are “respectful of one another.”