Conversations in regards to the applicable use of marijuana proceed as state legislators tackle efforts to legalize or decriminalize using the drug.
A invoice to legalize the sale and use of marijuana died within the Home in Might, however final week Home Invoice 625 was launched by State Rep. Cedric Glover (D-Shreveport). The invoice would decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana for private use in Louisiana.
The invoice would make possession of 14 grams or much less a misdemeanor in all circumstances and restrict fines to $100 with no jail time. The invoice is at the moment awaiting approval from the Senate for remaining passage.
In accordance with present Louisiana prison regulation, unlawful possession of a managed substance carries penalties starting from six months in jail to twenty years in jail.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said legalizing marijuana for recreational use in inevitable, however implementation have to be cautious shifting ahead.
“I’ve come to imagine (legalization) goes to occur in Louisiana ultimately,” Edwards stated. “We have to research it and be taught all classes realized from different states which have legalized it.”
Regardless of the perceived probability of marijuana being authorized for leisure use ultimately, native enforcement officers are against legal guidelines that will legalize the drug.
“Research have proven that it’s a gateway drug and legalization has led to elevated teen suicide and has put an elevated medical burden on an already overburdened medical system,” Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell stated.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the bulk of people that use marijuana don’t go on to make use of different, “more durable” substances, and that extra analysis is required to know if marijuana is a “gateway drug.”
West Monroe Police Chief’s ideas
West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell stated legalizing marijuana would make the drug extra accessible.
“Whether or not they’re of age or not,” Terrell stated. “It simply makes it quite a bit simpler for folks to have entry to it. We will cope with much more DWIs with marijuana.”
Terrell stated driving beneath the affect offenses in Colorado elevated after the state legalized leisure use of marijuana.
In January, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations reported that 47% of drivers are testing optimistic for marijuana, adopted by amphetamines and cocaine. The Colorado State Police said DUI arrests involving marijuana are up to 48% in the last year.
Terrell stated legalizing marijuana for leisure use would make it tougher for West Monroe Police Division to do their jobs.
“If any individual wants marijuana for a medical objective, for a medical difficulty, they’ve entry to that,” Terrell stated. “The one objective for these payments is for folks to get excessive.”
Terrell stated the query state legislators must be asking is “Why do folks need to get excessive?”
“They’re attempting to flee one thing or they’re attempting to self-medicate attributable to points. Why is that?” Terrell stated. “We must be coping with that side of it different than simply making it authorized. I am not a politician by any means, however we have to taking a look at one thing totally different.”
Terrell stated state legislators must be spending time cope with psychological well being points and it the way it impacts regulation enforcement.
“They’re so many individuals that need assistance for various causes and one of many issues that they do is attempt to self-medicate which isn’t good,” Terrell stated. “There are much more issues that they need to centered on. Our job is troublesome sufficient as it’s. I have been right here a very long time, so I’ve seen numerous stuff. We positively do not want something that is going to make our job anymore troublesome than it at the moment is.”
Russell stated marijuana is assessed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug, making possession of it a federal crime.
“Sheriff’s take an oath of workplace to uphold federal and state legal guidelines,” Russell stated.
Officers from the Monroe Police Division didn’t return requests for remark.
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