If Ohio Legalizes Marijuana, West Virginia Officials Predict Com - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

If Ohio Legalizes Marijuana, West Virginia Officials Predict Complications In The Mountain State

WHEELING -

It's only a 20-second drive from Ohio to West Virginia, if you take the Bridgeport Bridge.   

If Ohio legalizes marijuana, West Virginia may feel the repercussions.

"It will absolutely have an impact here in West Virginia, undoubtedly," said Deputy Chief Martin Kimball of the Wheeling Police Department.

"Oh, there's no question it's going to be complicated," agreed Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas.

An Ohio resident with some marijuana in his pocket--or in his system--will be breaking the law the moment they cross the border into West Virginia.

"Obviously it stays in your system for a long time," noted Kimball. "So if you sit at home and get high and then 30 minutes later you decide to go out and get a pizza here in Wheeling, well, you're still high. So we anticipate the number of drugged driving arrests to increase. Unfortunately that's going to be putting a lot of other people at risk on the highway."

"So if it does pass and you're allowed to carry a certain number of ounces in Ohio, and you cross over any of the bridges into West Virginia, and you're stopped for running a red light and you have that marijuana with you, you will be charged under West Virginia laws," Thomas said.

And a workplace with a zero tolerance policy for drugs probably won't care where you live.

They will feel that their policy trumps your address.

"If you work in West Virginia, then you're subject to West Virginia laws and West Virginia employers' drug policies, " Thomas added.

Officials suspect it will be opening a major can of proverbial worms for workplace human resources departments on both sides of the river, if Issue Three passes on Tuesday.

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