Impaired Driving, Not Legalized Party Pot, Worries The Tompkins County Sheriff

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – With less than a week left in the New York legislative session, there’s still a debate on whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

It was a priority for Governor Andrew Cuomo this year.

Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne, who considers himself a realist, does not oppose marijuana and recognizes it can benefit for some people.   His chief concern is public safety.

“Where I have to be concerned is when it comes into the public safety of everybody in our community,” he said.  “And, you know, things like driving while ability impaired, is a big thing for me…

He continued, “So, a lot of people, possibly could use marijuana and they wouldn’t cause a problem with anybody but it’s that small group of people that would have access to it now or possible already do that would get into their cars and drive while high on marijuana, that’s what I’m concerned about.”

The Tompkins County legislature passed a resolution supporting legalization last year. Cuomo has said it’s unlikely to pass before the session ends next Wednesday.