(WFSB) – With Governor Ned Lamont expected to sign the recreational marijuana bill into law, Connecticut police agencies are gearing up to find the best practices to keep drivers safe.
Police officers have always looked at marijuana as being illegal and they’ve made countless arrests because of it, but now, that’s changing.
Channel 3 spoke to law enforcement officials who say police have been keeping an eye on this bill for years.
Connecticut will soon become the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Channel 3 Law Enforcement Analyst, Retired State Police Lt. Paul Vance reminds people it’s not for everyone.
“The legislature has said this is an adult product. This product is for age 21 and older, not for teens, not for younger people. That’s extremely important and people have to recognize it. Law enforcement also understands it,” Lt. Vance said.
How this will impact policing is what law enforcement agencies have already been thinking about.
“We will be able to enforce laws by watching the observation of someone’s operation. How they’re driving on the roadway, are they staying in the lane, all the things you normally look at and take it a step further with being able to test with possible inability to operate,” Lt. Vance.
He says they’ll be able to enforce the laws, watching for those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Law enforcement in all agencies in Connecticut are looking at it with the best way we can do to protect the public from young people getting it, which is important and people that are using the project and getting behind the wheel of a car and operating it,” Lt. Vance said.
Neighboring Massachusetts passed the bill back in 2016, so Connecticut has the advantages of seeing what other states are doing.