Governor Baker urges lawmakers to update laws on operating under the influence of marijuana

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Baker wants the legislature to take action and make roads across the Commonwealth safer for everyone.

It’s been five years since marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts and Governor Baker said he’s disappointed to see that the legislature still hasn’t put a framework in place to crack down on impaired driving.

Prior to the pandemic, Governor Baker filed a bill that would suspend the license of someone suspected to be operating under the influence of marijuana. Anyone who refused to take a chemical test for impairment could lose their license for up to six months.

The legislature put that bill on the back burner while they tackled public health issues during the pandemic. However now that most of that work is behind them, Governor Baker is urging the legislature to revisit the issue.

“Unfortunately our road safety laws have not caught up to the current public safety landscape with respect to impaired driving,” said Baker. He said he also hopes to put a law in place that would prohibit drivers from having loose or unsealed packages of marijuana in their cars, treating it the same open containers of alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths reached a 15 year high in 2021 with more than 20,000 roadway deaths reported.

This issue is something that police officers, hospital personnel and state leaders are hoping to see addressed in a timely manner.

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