Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton not sold on recreational potDecember 30, 2018
Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Sunday morning that the state will be “opening up Pandora’s box” if marijuana is legalized.
“At this particular time, I still strongly oppose it. I think there are too many unanswered questions,” Bratton told 970 AM host John Catsimatidis on his morning radio show, “The Cats Roundtable.” “We still don’t have effective capabilities in law enforcement to deal with the issue of driving while impaired by the use of marijuana. It is as addictive as any other drug.”
The former top cop for both the NYPD and LAPD was discussing what he called a “growing drug problem” — the opioid epidemic — when asked by Catsimatidis what he thought about making pot legal to smoke.
“We don’t really know the full effect of that drug on the development of children. Guarantee that much the same as alcohol is very available to young people, marijuana, particularly the way it’s being proposed in this state … young people will be getting their hands on it,” he continued, referencing, in part, how people would be allowed to grow the green in their homes.
“You can tax marijuana all you want. It is still going to be illegally grown, illegally sold.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo announced it was time for the herb to be legal for adult use “once and for all.” Mayor Bill de Blasio and several other city politicians have also voiced support.
Bratton noted how in Denver, Colo. — the state which decriminalized marijuana sales in 2014 for people over the age of 21 — there are now more marijuana distribution centers than there are Starbucks, causing “a significant increase in the vagrant homeless population around those locations.”
“Oh well,” he said. “I think I’m a voice crying in the wilderness, unfortunately.”
Bratton’s successor, Commissioner James O’Neill, spoke on Catsimatidis’ show about his concerns surrounding how increased pot use will affect New York drivers who take to the streets while high.
“Really what concerns me most is driving while ability-impaired due to marijuana, because there’s no instantaneous test for that,” he noted. “So as we go through this, as we look forward, we’re just going to have to make sure that we do our best to keep everybody in the city safe.”
Approximately 27 percent of Colorado’s pot users admitted to driving while high nearly daily, while 69 percent said they had driven while stoned at least one time over the past year, according to survey results put out in April by the state’s transportation department.
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