Former officer showing support for marijuana in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The election is only a couple of days away. On the ballot are two issues surrounding marijuana. One is IM 26, the medical marijuana initiative. The other is Amendment A to legalize recreational marijuana.
On Friday, Oct. 30th law enforcement professionals backing these measures shared their input during a virtual news conference.
Bill Stocker a retired Sioux Falls police officer is among those who’d like to see marijuana decriminalized
“As a police officer, I saw a lot of things, including plenty of domestic disputes. Almost every single one involved alcohol but I can’t think of a single time there was violence or some kind of dispute that involved people using marijuana,” said Stocker.
He says marijuana also takes up a lot of officers' time and resources that could be focused on other issues like violent crimes or harder drugs.
“About once a month or so we hear about someone getting caught with enough fentanyl to kill tens of thousands of people. That’s the kind of thing that worries me not marijuana,” said Stocker.
“Most cops, they don’t want to go after 25-year-olds who have a couple of grams of marijuana. They want to get the real criminals off the street.”
David Owen with the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce is opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana. He says many officers he’s spoken with are also against the measure.
“There’s a ballot question committee called “No Need for Weed” [in South Dakota] that is led by active law enforcement and a number of law enforcement associations are leading that effort including the Police Chiefs Association, the Narcotic Officers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police,” said Owen.
Dakota News Now reached out to talk to some officers against the measures, but none were available in time for the airing of this story.
We spoke with people on both sides of the marijuana ballot questions earlier this week. To find them just search “marijuana” on DakotaNewsNow.com
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