2018-03-18 / Insight

SCOTT McKENNA

Lapeer County Sheriff

Editor’s note: The following responses related to law enforcement concerns regarding medical marijuana enforcement were provided by

Lapeer County Sheriff

Scott McKenna. Q:

What do you believe the greatest effect legal marijuana sales will have in Lapeer

County? Answer: It is hard to answer because of it being new. Usually when we have changes like these there is many other issues that arise that we have to deal with. Q:

How many marijuana-related cases did your agency have in 2017? Answer: Six arrests for marijuana sales; 103 arrests for marijuana possession; 43 arrests for marijuana producing; and one arrest for marijuana (other). Q:

How many marijuana-related cases did your agency have in 2016? Answer: Ten arrests for marijuana sales; 114 arrests for marijuana possession; 15 arrests for marijuana producing; and five arrests for marijuana (other). Q:

How many licensed caregivers are there in Lapeer

County? Answer: 557 caregivers

(as of November 2017) Q:

What effect will licensed provisioning centers have on the number caregivers in

Lapeer County? Answer: It’s my understanding that the new laws will not affect current caregivers. They will both continue to exist. Q: Will the new classes of businesses make law enforcement easier or more difficult? Answer: I do not know.

There are too many unknowns. Time will tell. Q:

Opponents to marijuana related businesses say they will lead to increased crime and more drug use of all kinds. Do you agree? Why, why not? Answer: It hasn’t happened yet, so it’s hard for me to determine.

Reviewing other states who have legalized it, I have seen multiple sources of data that they have experienced multiple problems for the community and law enforcement. Q:

Lapeer County seems to have a relatively low incidence of drunk driving. What affect, if any, do you think legal marijuana sales will have on buzzed driving arrests? Answer: I think it’s the obvious answer that I am deeply concerned that people driving under the influence of a narcotic will greatly increase. Q:

Overall, do you believe the legalization of medical marijuana will make your job easier or more difficult? Why? Answer: The truth is law enforcement is usually the one stuck in the middle. Issues like this usually have multiple scenarios that nobody thought of from the beginning and we get stuck.

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