MONTPELIER, Vt. – With the state Legislature expected to take up legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the upcoming session, several doctors and other marijuana opponents on Friday urged the state not to legalize it.
The move would normalize the use of marijuana, leading to more people using it and in turn to more intoxicated people and more automobile crashes, said Dr. John Hughes, a University of Vermont psychiatrist and professor, at a Statehouse press conference on Friday.
“To me, we got it right with decriminalization,” according to Hughes, who added that legalization and describing it as recreational use would send the wrong message.
Marijuana use cost a young North Carolina man his life in a car wreck in 2014, said his father, Darryl Rodgers, of Cary, North Carolina.
After smoking pot, Chase Rodgers let a young woman who didn’t have a driver’s license drive his car while he was a passenger. She drove off the road, and the car hit a tree. He died instantly. She took her own life in a fire months later, Darryl Rodgers said.