Oregon State Police car marijuana
Oregon Police Prep For July 1 Marijuana Legalization (CREDIT: Matt Zalewski / WikiMedia Commons)

As the legalization of recreational marijuana begins to find its footing throughout the U.S., law enforcement agencies, like those in Oregon, are evaluating how they will handle the new territory.

According to The Bulletin:

Bend Police Chief Jim Porter and Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton said in the aftermath of the election legalization would require their departments to train more patrol officers as drug-recognition experts qualified to assess when someone is under the influence of an intoxicant other than alcohol.

The training requires two weeks of classroom time and one week of field training, Porter said.

Porter foresees training 10 officers from the patrol side to gain the expertise, but the investment will not stop there. Drug-recognition stops are time-intensive arrests that require attention to detail, Porter said. If the case goes to the district attorney’s office, the officer may be required to testify in court, which takes additional time and resources.

Blanton said the new law will require more deputy time, not less, spent on marijuana-related offenses as people take the wheel.

“The irony of that is part of the pro-marijuana movement was to put the police back to enforcing things of importance,” Blanton said.


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