Gray Areas Cloud Marijuana Legalization
The new marijuana legalization law which was voted in on November 8th and became effective on December 15th is possibly raising more questions than answers for local residents as well as police.
Local police including Police Chief John Moore, above, along with Sgt. Matt Waugh and Lt. David Gatchell tried to answer some of the new laws provisions. The new law while passed is still incomplete when it comes to retail outlets, and there has been talk of the legislature revising the number of plants which a resident can grow. That number is "up to 6 plants for one person, and up to 12 plants in any residence where 2 or more people live". If someone decides to bone up on the number of legal plants say by growing 7-11 plants then a $100 civil citation can be issued. More than 12 plants can lead to criminal prosecution. Having large sums of marijuana on hand or in your possession will still be against the law. "Individuals in possession of more than 50 lbs of marijuana will be charged with trafficing and money laundering if there was a financial transfer at this weight". Birthdays and Christmas may take on a new meaning as weed can be "gifted to a person over the age of 21 years".
Toking up while driving is a no-no and considered the same way as the present open container alcohol laws. Sgt. Waugh noted that weed must be in a sealed locked container or the locked glove box. Police are presently watching the effects of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado where public safety officials have seen an increase of 32% in marijuana related deaths. It's already here, noted Sgt. Waugh, as he recently saw a local Rte. 9 company, HTG Supply, offering hydroponic growing kits. Chief Moore said of OUI's and drug weed testing - we're only in its infancy.
Eighteen local residents attended the forum held Thursday eve at the police station.