PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Thursday marks an unofficial marijuana holiday, and police in Rhode Island said they expect to see more people getting high. That’s why they’re asking people to keep vigilant on the roads.
The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association said although recreational marijuana is now legal in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it’s still illegal to drive under the influence.
Police also said marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to stay in their lane.
In 2019, 49 percent of drivers who were killed in crashes tested positive for drugs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Plus, from 2016 to 2020, there were 29 traffic fatalities involving marijuana in New England on April 20 alone.
“Driving under the influence of any substance can result in tragic consequences,” Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Executive Director Sid Wordell said. “We urge our community members to use good judgment, obey the law, and make safe choices when behind the wheel of a vehicle.”
Police are also asking people to share the slogan, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.”
Anyone who suspects someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol should pull over and call Rhode Island State Police at (401) 444-1000 or dial *77.