Law enforcement prepares for legalization of recreational marijuana

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — New rules are in place for the legal use of recreational marijuana next January.

Local law enforcement is adapting and preparing to hold neighbors accountable.

“I think there’s going to be a culture change for everybody we’re going to have to have law enforcement understand that there are new rules and new laws so we’ll abide by those laws,” East Peoria Police Chief Steve Roegge said.

Although it’s legal for recreational use, Chief Roegge said it’s important for neighbors to know the rules including how much you can have on your person and where you can use it.

“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can do whatever you choose with it,” Chief Roegge said.

Peoria County Sheriff, Brian Asbell, said local departments are training to take on these new tasks.

“I think we’ll walk away at the end of this week with more knowledge and how to manage this,” Sheriff Asbell said.

Asbell said keeping the roadways safe is a major concern at the Sheriff’s office.

“We’ve had people driving DUI impaired using marijuana since there have been cars and that is not going to change,” he said.

He said it’s important for drivers to know how much marijuana they can carry, how it should be contained and that it is prohibited to drive impaired.

“Read up, understand what the do’s and don’ts, what the law does provide for and follow it,” Asbell said.

Chief Roegge said operating a vehicle while under the influence of recreational marijuana is dangerous.

“If you don’t understand how it’s going to affect you please stay off the road because we want to make sure everybody is safe in that way, but when you’re driving it does affect everybody,” Roegge said.

Sheriff Asbell said it’s no different than going to a bar to get a drink. If you consume cannabis you should use rideshare, or call a friend for a ride home.

He said his department will begin posting the “Do’s and Dont’s” of marijuana use on social media to inform neighbors ahead of time.

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