As some states have legalized marijuana and 5 others are set to decide this fall, the Kansas AG analyzed the effects of legal pot on the neighboring states.
Marijuana legalization has been igniting debates in both the states that have already decided to allow the recreational use of pot, states as Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado and on those that will be deciding this fall.
But little has been said about the effects of legal pot in the states next or near those that have taken this decision. Derek Schmidt, attorney general of Kansas, issued a public declaration about the effects on his state after neighboring Colorado voted for the legalization.
According to responses received from a number of 390 local state enforcements, their neighbor’s decision made a big mark, with not all necessarily bad.
The debate over the legalization is still raging hot and the public change in attitude is sure to produce an effect in other areas as well. Following the public eye, the legal system in itself has mixed responses to the matter.
Some juries are refusing to preside over cases involving the use of legal marijuana and some are becoming laxer in their means of enforcing the law in such cases. Other, on the contrary, feel the need for a harsher attitude and stronger punishments.
Following the reports, Schmidt considers that all factors should be taken into consideration when dealing with the effects of pot legalization, costs being included in the mix, and that there is a need for consistency in the matter.
Still, some Kansas agencies find this a hard task to accomplish as, according to them, the legal response plays an important part in the matter and a neutral, consistent response will be hard to attain as long as there are mixed attitudes. As some are preparing for their own state’s legalization, other are in favor of a stricter response and reprimands against pot.
The financial part of the matter will also have to be taken into consideration. In areas such as Ellis County, the prosecutor’s office as well as the local jail are getting so many drug cases that the former has become under-capacitated.
As approximately 75 percent of the state counties reported a number of five or fewer cases of marijuana confiscations in 2014 and 2015, with small towns reporting none at all, the numbers have increased considerably in the past year.
A new cause of concern is also the higher and more varied number of edible marijuana food products, whose confiscation numbers rocketed from 0 in 2013 to over 30 in 2015.
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