Oct 25, 2016 7:32 AM

New England police trooper's widow urges 'no' vote on legalizing marijuana

The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The widow of a state trooper killed by a driver who allegedly smoked marijuana before the crash is making an emotional plea against a ballot question that would legalize recreational marijuana.

Trooper Thomas Clardy was killed in March when a medical marijuana patient crashed into his cruiser. In a new web video, Reisa Clardy said she believes there will be more accidents and more fatalities if voters approve Question 4 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Reisa Clardy said her husband was "a wonderful father" who always put his family first. She said his death changed their family's lives. "My husband's not here anymore. Daddy's not going to come walking through that door one day," she said in the video.

The video was produced by an anti-legalization campaign.

"If it can happen to my family, it can happen to anybody's," Reisa Clardy said in the video. "Why would we take this risk, right now?"

David Njuguna, of Webster, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and related crimes in Clardy's death.

Clardy, a father of seven, had stopped a car for a traffic violation in Charlton when his cruiser was hit by Njuguna's vehicle. Witnesses said Njuguna's car swerved across all three travel lanes without slowing.

Prosecutors allege that Njuguna had smoked marijuana shortly before the crash. According to his attorney, Njuguna denies he was high on marijuana.

Supporters say legalizing marijuana will give authorities the ability to tax and regulate it and is a better way of dealing with it than leaving it underground.

The Yes on 4 Campaign issued a statement in response to Clardy's video. The group expressed condolences to Clardy on the loss of her husband and said Njuguna, if convicted, should be "punished to the fullest extent of the law."

The group said Question 4 does not change state laws that prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana.

The ballot question would allow people 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use and allow the home cultivation of up to 12 marijuana plants.

Recent polls have shown a majority of voters support the ballot question.

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