Special Report: Legalized Cannabis Could Skyrocket Minnesota Traffic Deaths
Working its way through the Minnesota legislature is an attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use. What does one local law enforcement leader think of it? Let's find out.
Click here to read or download the bill, House File 600.
Is This A Pro or Anti Legalize Cannabis Story?
This is a gathering information story. For you. One of the many stories I hope you'll read in the near future. Recently, Sheriff Kevin Torgerson was featured on the Y-105FM Early Morning Show.
Let's Hear What Sheriff Torgerson Said About Legalizing Marijuana
Torgerson, who spent 12 years teaching the DARE program, has both a personal and a professional view. Today we're concerned with the professional view more than the personal, and there's no doubt about it. The Sheriff of Olmsted County would very much prefer HF 600 not be signed into law.
Sheriff Torgerson said in the conversation (scroll to listen below), "The public safety aspects of it really greatly concern me. And I'm just wondering if people really understand what we're about to do, if this is gonna happen, it's gonna make our roads and so much of our society so much more unsafe."
James Rabe: Isn't it true that like there are like zero or close to zero traffic accidents or traffic crashes caused by marijuana smokers?
Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson: No...Colorado is the starting point of this whole discussion, this whole movement in a sense across the country. So I welcome everyone out there to go look and pull up the Rocky Mountain HIDTA Report. It stands for High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF)
We're a HITDA in Olmsted County. And you don't get that because you're doing good. You get that because the facts and figures, the statistics, the arrests of people that are bringing drugs into the area are significant enough that it's gotten the federal government's attention.
JR: The 2021 version is out. What's it tell us?
SKT: ...(Colorado) legalized it in 2013. And since 2013 there, traffic deaths where drivers tested positive (so one or both of the drivers have tested positive for marijuana)...has gone up 138%. And I look at everybody and I say, are we ready for that?
Breaking down that 138% increase into raw numbers, "the real numbers have more than doubled from what they had in 2013," said Torgerson.
He continued, "There were 55 in 2013 that were drivers or persons were killed in a vehicle where someone had marijuana present in the system of one of the drivers to 131 people in 2020. So if we're ready to kill 60 more people annually in our state, if that's what we want to accept, I guess that's what we do."
Click play to hear the entire conversation, hear what he said about: marijuana for medical reasons, the social cost of marijuana (reported to have tripled in Colorado), and how already being a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area could/would lead to much more trafficking from cartels, etc.
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