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Baker, Police Push Bill to Crack Down on Drivers High on Marijuana

Gov. Charlie Baker pushed his administration's impaired driving bill Monday.

The measure was introduced earlier this year. It aims to make it easier for law enforcement to crack down on people who drive under the influence of marijuana.

The bill, which was created by adopting the recommendations of a special panel set up after the state legalized marijuana, will allow officers to seek electronic search warrants and will punish drivers who refuse drug tests.

In addition, it would prohibit open or loose marijuana packages in vehicles.

Baker, a Republican, said the bill would bring the state in line with more than 30 others.

"Our communities are facing new public safety challenges in the context of the legalization of the adult use of marijuana," he said.

Law enforcement officials on hand for the news conference supported the bill.

"Drugs have now surpassed alcohol as being detected more frequently in fatal motor vehicle crashes," said Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael. "While adult use of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, operating a vehicle under the influence is not."

There's no timeline for when the legislature might take up the bill.

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