Illinois police prepare for the legalization of cannabis


The Illinois State Police is preparing to enforce the new law that legalizes recreational marijuana as of January 1

The Illinois state police announced last Thursday that they are willing to enforce the law, whether it is a matter of misconduct in relation to alcohol or cannabis, and that enforcement will always be their priority.

The DeKalb Police Commander, Craig Woodruff, has stated that although many people believe that the police do not know how to decide if a driver is prevented from driving a vehicle under the influence of marijuana, the reality is that they do know how.

Those of us who are not Americans see how in the movies the police make a driver get out of the car and force him to do things that seem absurd to us to determine if he is incapable of driving because of the effects of alcohol. We can see that the policeman asks the driver to lift one leg while touching the nose with the thumb of the left hand. Or we see how the cop asks the driver to count from 100 to 0.

Although it may seem an abuse of power, the reality is that the police officer does these things to determine the ability to drive a vehicle of the person. And the truth is that it is a system that works very well and that saves many fines.

I know people who never drink alcohol and, for whatever reason, one day they drink a beer. If that person is given an alcohol test, they will not be legally drunk. But the reality is that they do not have the capacity to drive a vehicle because they have no tolerance for alcohol. That person is not legally drunk, but she is really drunk.

In Illinois on Friday, June 28, 2019 recreational marijuana was legalized. We recommend reading the article that we published the same day in cannabisground.con called “Illinois legalizes recreational marijuana” if you want to know about it.

With the legalization of the use of recreational marijuana by adults over 21 years as of January 1, local authorities have just seven months to adapt to the new law.

Woodruff personally supervises the ability of officers of the traffic patrol in DeKalb. The commander ensures that officers know how to distinguish between legal and illegal amounts of marijuana in the drivers’ organization since medical marijuana was legalized in 2014.

In the same way that the law placed a limit on alcohol, there is also a limit for cannabis. First of all, the police officer makes the driver of the vehicle perform a series of tests such as those mentioned above to see if he has coordination. But there is also the possibility of doing a blood test within two hours of when the driver is stopped. This analysis establishes the legal limits. There is no device to do the analysis in situ. But you can always resort to analytics if the driver is not able to perform the coordination tests that the policeman asks.

Woodruff explains that the police are based on a system of divided attention. It examines how well you can walk, if you can follow instructions, beyond the simple smell of alcohol and cannabis. The same test that is done for the deterioration produced by alcohol is the same as that done for cannabis.

The main concern of the police is that people do not know how much marijuana they can consume before being unable to drive.

Another problem that concerns the police is the mixture of substances. For example, if you take a certain medication and drink alcohol and also smoke marijuana, you will surely be unable to drive.

The police can fine drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol, under the influence of marijuana and a combined DUI (driving under the influence) of both substances. The police have a lot of experience with the recognition of disabled drivers and that all agents are already trained to recognize disability and sobriety.

Under the new law, Illinois residents will be able to buy and own 30 grams of marijuana, 250 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product and 2.5 grams of a concentrated cannabis product. Non-residents may have access to half of these amounts.

Consumers will be able to grow up to five plants in their home without a licensed artisan breeder.

The state of Illinois has already decided where the benefits of cannabis will go. 35% of the proceeds from taxes on recreational marijuana will go to the state’s general fund. 25% will go to the Recovery, Reinvestment and Renewal Program, which is directed to the communities that were marginalized by the anti-drug law in the state. 20% will go to mental health services and drug abuse programs. 10% will go to unpaid bills. 8% will go to prevention and preparation of the police and 2% will go to certain education and public safety campaigns.

The new law is considered a good generator of new income and will also provide an opportunity for forgiveness and eradication of criminal records for people convicted of possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana.

For his part, DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott says that in addition to people who drive after consuming too much cannabis, he is also concerned about the fate given to plants that are allowed to grow at home some people.

He is concerned that although the law allows up to five plants to be cultivated, nothing is said about how often they can be grown and who can do it and who is going to enforce it. He believes that street gangs and other criminal organizations could be exploited.

John Petragallo, interim police chief of DeKalb, has organized a meeting with the nearby law enforcement agencies, as well as with the DeKalb County State Prosecutor’s Office, to study the different strategies to follow to enforce the law.

On the other hand, he is also cooperating with the Association of Police Chiefs of Illinois to thoroughly study the 610 pages of the new law.

Both recruits and cadets of the Illinois State Police Academy receive training in criminal law, state vehicle code and training tests to drive vehicles and control and identify drugs.

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