Fmr. RISP Superintendent O’Donnell weighs in on the Mass. legalization of marijuana

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Starting on December 15, residents in Massachusetts over 21 can possess, use and purchase one ounce of less of the drug. As expected, Rhode Island officials are watching closely to see how the state handles the legalization process and analyze what it

Eyewitness News Law Enforcement Analyst Former State Police Superintendent Steven O’Donnell stated that Massachusetts should have a big education campaign to clarify the gray areas in the new measure.

“If something like this were to happen in Rhode Island, my suggestion would be put a team of leaders together, advocates for marijuana, and anti-marijuana, and put them together and hash out the pros and cons and then put something together legislatively that you can understand what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s true and what’s not true,” said O’Donnell.

Another safety measure would include the use of drug recognition experts. “There are certain troopers and police officers called DRE’s they’ve been to school they’re trained to recognize the different symptoms of what narcotic you have in your system, but not everybody is trained that way. It’s expensive. They have to travel to another part of the country to train for two weeks and do retraining,” according to O’Donnell.