The Buffalo News reports that the District Attorney is promising to take a hard line on drivers who kill others while high on marijuana.
33-year-old Edward Harris has been indicted on a murder charge. The charge stems from an accident where Harris crashed his vehicle into a senior housing complex, killing a 94-year-old woman as she sat, watching television.
At about 7 p.m. on March 26th, Harris was allegedly speeding on Oakridge Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda. He crossed Delaware Avenue into a parking lot. There, he hit a parked car and then slammed into the Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village Apartments.
The impact sent bricks from the wall flying and caused the ceiling to cave in on 94-year-old Lida Alminate. Alminate was rushed to a hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries four days later.
Harris is an honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran who is being treated for PTSD and narcolepsy. He has legally prescribed marijuana in the state of New York.
New York, like many states, has made legal the use of medical marijuana. However, only non-smokable forms of cannabis are allowed. While the state has toyed with the idea of legalizing cannabis, it has yet to do so.
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The penalties for possession of up to 2 oz is just a citation, but more than that can be a misdemeanor, and more than 8 oz is a felony. Just like with other states, driving while high is illegal and constitutes a DUI charge. DUI charges can get very serious if there is an accident where injuries or deaths occur.