Law enforcement agencies in Missouri are unsure of how the legalization of marijuana for personal use will affect them despite the fact that the measure was supported by voters. Moberly’s top cop, Troy Link, claims to have missed the fine print. He is awaiting the Missouri Police Chiefs Association’s assessment of the change and its recommendation of best practices for police to follow.
The link also mentioned that the City of Moberly was waiting for advice from its lawyers. The passage of this legislation was the least of our worries; our main concern was that its implementation was fraught with ambiguity. Understanding what [people] are capable of and what they are not will take time. “We’re going to have to play it by ear,” Link remarked.
The language of the amendment indicates that its purpose is to legalize the possession and cultivation of small amounts of Marijuana by those aged 21 and up, divert profits from its sale away from criminal organizations, and make marijuana usage safe by regulating its production.
According to the document, the Department of Health and Senior Services will issue licenses for marijuana cultivation and distribution, as well as draft regulations, design paperwork, and identification cards, and keep tabs on the industry’s progress.
Since licenses haven’t been granted as of yet, any marijuana someone has is technically obtained illegally, according to Link. There will still be a problem for law enforcement in tracing the origin of drugs, even after permits have been provided. According to Link, “it’s the same difficulty that they have with Medical Marijuana.”
The only way for police to know what to do is if cases make it to court, and judges issue rulings, as stated by Link. I don’t see how this will make our work easier, the police chief remarked. Just another stone we have to lug around,” he said. In light of the constitutional amendment, Link stated that the Moberly police would not make arrests for adults over the age of 21 who were in possession of fewer than three ounces of marijuana.
He claimed that the police are cracking down on those who are caught with larger quantities or who are high while behind the wheel. According to Link, both medical and recreational marijuana regulations do not restrict law enforcement from making DUI arrests. That type of instance “will likely become more common as time goes by.”
Huntsville’s police chief, Chris Wertz, expressed his fear that the state legislature “had set our residents up” in a recent interview. Intoxication tests are administered to police officers, Wertz added. In certain countries, the legal definition of intoxication is based on a person’s blood-alcohol level, which can be determined with a breathalyzer test. THC-rich cannabis We still don’t know all the rules,” Wertz admitted.
Urine tests may only return a positive or negative result for marijuana, and Wertz claims he is unaware of any concentration of the drug that would indicate intoxication. The danger to me is the same as if someone had been drinking and then gotten behind the wheel, Wertz added. What Wertz meant was, “everyone’s looking at the money we’re going to make out of it,” but is that really worth a life?
Wertz has decided to wait for direction from County Prosecutor Stephanie Lunsford before deciding how to proceed with filing charges. “We have no idea what to do at this time,” Wertz said that the requirement for a medical marijuana card helps law enforcement keep better tabs on the drug.
If you want to be sure you get the right product, according to the new regulation, Wertz says you should only buy it from a dispensary where the lot numbers will be recorded. When a police officer detects the odor of marijuana but has no way of knowing whether or not the marijuana came from a dispensary, the officer no longer has probable cause to conduct a search.
An officer with the Missouri State Highway Patrol reportedly told Wertz that the department needs new K-9s. Those pets are no longer usable because of their negative reaction to cannabis. If an individual’s culpability could be mitigated by the passage of the new law at the time of their arrest, then they may be eligible for release from prison. Wertz argued that many of those serving time for possession actually had additional, more serious convictions.
Many of my friends and acquaintances have been convicted of felony possession after being caught in the act of dealing. According to Wertz, “we’re in a holding pattern” at the moment. Marijuana use in the workplace is prohibited by the new law, as is public usage, driving while under the influence, and any other activity that would be considered a violation of the new law.