Sheriff supports more research for medical marijuana legalization

FILE - In this June 17, 2015, file photo, marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

LOGAN — Medical marijuana continues to be a hot topic at the Utah Legislature, with more than 10 bills being considered this year. All of them are still in process, with just over two-weeks left in the session.

Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen and other members of the Law Enforcement Legislative Committee are in support of studying the effects of medical marijuana, and its possible benefits. He said there are still many unanswered questions, not only about the effects but also the limits for its use.

“How do we deal with somebody who, if it was legal and you had a prescription for marijuana, what is a threshold for a DUI,” asked Jensen. “There are things already built in place for opioids and other things that people can get a prescription for, but again you just say medical cannabis, where is the thresholds for law enforcement?”

Last year, deputies in the county arrested more than 180 people for driving under the influence. Of those, more than half were drug related and not alcohol.

Jensen said the numbers show that Cache County has drug problems and he’s concerned about allowing another drug that people could abuse.

“We certainly worry a lot about the public’s safety and putting one more thing out there that somebody can ‘legally possess,’ and create havoc and problems in society.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said earlier this year that Utahns will vote to legalize medical marijuana. Whether that will be this November or a future year, the governor reportedly didn’t say.

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