AAA Mid-Atlantic testified against marijuana legalization. Here's what one lobbyist said - Technical.ly Delaware

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May 15, 2017 10:46 am

AAA Mid-Atlantic testified against marijuana legalization. Here’s what one lobbyist said

“The pro-pot lobby is well-versed in its talking points but their arguments are without merit in the collective best interest of our good state,” AAA Mid-Atlantic's Cathy Rossi told the House Revenue and Finance Committee last week.

Some state legislators say Delaware should legalize marijuana and reap the economic benefits, while others, like AAA-MidAtlantic, disagree.

(Photo by Flickr user Heather Cassano, used under a Creative Commons license)

AAA Mid-Atlantic continues to lead the fight against the legalization of recreational marijuana in Delaware. Last Wednesday, AAA Mid-Atlantic Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Cathy Rossi testified in front of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, in opposition of House Bill 110.

If passed, Delaware will be the first state to legalize recreational marijuana by legislative vote.

The motor club has publicly stated that its main reason for opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana is the effect it will have on traffic safety.

According to a poll taken by AAA Mid-Atlantic in October 2016, 88 percent of Delaware drivers view drug-impaired drivers as a threat to their personal safety.

Drivers under the influence of marijuana can suffer from impaired reaction times, distance perceptions, motor coordination and attention span.

Rossi said the organization fears the lack of roadside testing for marijuana impairment could be an issue for law enforcement. Creating a roadside test could also be challenging. Unlike alcohol, marijuana cannot be detected in blood.

“Even if a device were developed and put on the market tomorrow that could accurately measure the amount of active THC [the active ingredient in marijuana] in body fluids, it is not feasible to set meaningful standards because peak impairment occurs when peak concentrations of active THC are achieved in the brain,” she told the committee during the hearing. “And, bodily fluid concentrations of this drug are not correlated with brain tissue concentrations.”

While organizations, such as the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, who are in favor of House Bill 110, believe the legalization of recreational marijuana will be beneficial to the economy and save the state millions of dollars, AAA Mid-Atlantic hopes lawmakers will use science and other research to make their decision.

“What should guide our approach to this issue is science and data, combined with well-reasoned public safety and societal impact learnings from other states [who have legalized recreational marijuana],” Rossi said. “The pro-pot lobby is well-versed in its talking points but their arguments are without merit in the collective best interest of our good state.”

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