Marijuana legalization impact on law enforcement

Local News

PEORIA, Il. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 1438 this week to legalize recreational marijuana.

Peoria city leaders are still going over this 600 plus page legislation and they’re trying to decipher how this will impact the city.

Peoria County Sheriff, Brian Asbell said there are quite a few things his department is considering.

For example, K-9 dogs trained to smell cannabis might have to retire since they cannot be untrained. Also, the state may need an increase of staff that will process the expungement of those arrested for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana. When it comes to driving regulations, officers will have to learn about how to spot drivers who are under the influence of marijuana. They’ll have to go through some training to figure out how to identify impaired driving due to marijuana consumption.

“This hasn’t really changed the job. For years, we’ve been doing DUI’s. Primarily our focus has been alcohol and that’s where most of the employees have the most exposure to so we’ll need to spend time through in house training as well as the NTU to get that mindset change,” said Asbell.

Trinity Compassionate Care and NuMed East Peoria are two local cannabis dispensaries who sell medical marijuana. They say it’s too early to talk about this as they are also trying to figure out next steps. However they did confirm that they will work on getting the license to sell recreational marijuana.

The possession of marijuana will still be a crime until January 1st 2020. Only those 21 and over will be able to purchase and possess marijuana products from licensed retailers. The limit is 30 grams per resident and 15 grams for non residents.


Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.