Albemarle prosecutor sends letter to Attorney General Herring

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Days after Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring called for marijuana legalization in the state, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci sent him a letter, urging him to consider traffic safety in any debate about the subject.

Tracci's concern with the issue of driving under the influence of marijuana grew earlier this year after a trash truck driver was acquitted in a fatal collision with an Amtrak train.

Albemarle Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins wouldn't allow testimony about the driver's THC level. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Higgins said the science isn't settled when she issued the ruling.

Tracci says highway safety must be part of any discussion about legalizing pot, and he’s concerned that Herring’s statement didn’t mention the issue.

"If there were decriminalization, more people would drive under the influence,” he said. “What the Commonwealth needs is bright-line statutory rules to better identify, detect, and prosecute people who drive under the influence of marijuana."

Tracci says other states where marijuana has been legalized have set such limits.

Herring did not respond to a request for comment.

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