Madison County Sheriff voices concerns over legalization of marijuana, especially on the roads

Local News

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With the use of recreational marijuana becoming legal in New York, it’s posing some new challenges for police. Road safety is one of the main concerns.

Sheriff Todd Hood of Madison County thinks this decision is going to be extremely challenging for all law enforcement agencies.

We’re already seeing spikes in traffic crashes and things like that. We had a fatal crash the other day where there were several drugs involved, but one of them was marijuana. A woman had crossed over the double solid line high on drugs and killed a father of four here in Madison County.

Sheriff Todd Hood, Madison County

It was less than three weeks ago when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the use of recreational marijuana into law.

Lawmakers say now that recreational marijuana is legal, it will provide the state with much-needed economic opportunities, such as boosting revenues and creating local jobs.

Although the laws are already passed, Sheriff Hood says it’s now up to those on the frontlines to pick up the pieces.

“We do the same thing we always do. We come. We investigate. We interview people and we start to build the case as soon as we get on the scene, as soon as there is probable cause to believe, you know that this, this, or this is happening, and we build our case in law enforcement,” Sheriff Hood explained.

For his department, it’s all about safety, which is something Sheriff Hood says should have been a part of the initial conversation.

It’s one more thing to make people stumble and it’s one more thing a kid can get on. It’s easily accessible like grabbing a beer at home out of your parent’s fridge now you can grab the marijuana so it’s one more step towards trouble.

I know there’s a lot of people out there that like using it who are responsible but we’re in law enforcement, always dealing with the irresponsible.

Sheriff Todd Hood, Madison County

NewsChannel 9 reached out to a few other smaller agencies, Manlius and DeWitt Police in particular. Both say that since this is an evolving topic and some things are still unclear, they’ve decided to decline comment on the new legislation.

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