The New York State Sheriff's Association held news conferences across the state on Thursday to voice their opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York State.

A news conference with local law enforcement officials took place at the Oneida County Sheriff's Office in Oriskany.

The Sheriff's Association recently voted unanimously to say no to legalizing marijuana.

They say legal recreational marijuana use will result in an increase in drugged driving, traffic deaths, crime rates and use by children.

Speaking as president of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol said, “As Sheriff, my job is to keep our citizens safe.  If this proposal passes our citizens will be less safe”.

The Sheriffs cited data from Colorado which shows that annual marijuana related traffic deaths have increased there by 151 per cent since legalization. They also cited data from other states that have legalized marijuana to show that teen use of marijuana rises sharply when adult use is legalized.

"This is a drug, it's a very serious, potent drug now a days, let's treat it like every other drug" said Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood.  "You have to go get a prescription if you want to use this and recreational marijuana is not a good idea."

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize recreational marijuana as part of the state budget, which is due April 1st.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office