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CONNECTS AGAINST CRIME: CO Marijuana Legalization

Updated: Friday, January 3 2014, 08:50 AM CST
WATERLOO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- You've seen the images all over TV, with the legalization of recreational marijuana now a reality in Colorado.

Lt. Corbin Payne with the Tri-County Drug Task Force says it changes it reality for law enforcement here in Iowa, where marijuana is still illegal.

“I think there will be an impact because of more availability,” Payne said.

It means enforcement strategies will have to change. Payne says people are already finding creative ways to transport marijuana.

“It's being shipped to addresses locally, it can be anywhere from an ounce to pounds,” Payne said.

With Colorado being a relatively short drive away, Payne says it could mean more impaired drivers on Iowa's highways, Payne says it complicates the steps officers take to determine if someone is under the influence.

“It's probably an hour process to determine all this stuff,” Payne said.

The developments in Colorado leave some to wonder - how long will it be before Iowa jumps on board.

Recent polls show a majority of Iowans support it for medicinal purposes, but not recreational purposes. Out on the streets, we found some support for recreational use.

“I'll just be a cash crop,” resident Cody Phennicie said. “Alcohol is legal, marijuana should be too.”

We also found some that were strongly against it.

“I've just seen marijuana negatively affect a lot of people's lives,” resident Kaylee Gefaller said. “I wouldn't want that to grow to more people.

Some were on the fence.

“You do have an increase in taxes and that may solve some budget problems for many cities in the country,” resident Katie Shelton said. “On the flip side it is a risk, it is a drug.”

Whether it's legalized here or not, police say the situation in Colorado will likely go beyond its borders.

Another state could soon join Colorado on the legalization front. Currently Michigan has three marijuana bills awaiting action in the state legislature.
CONNECTS AGAINST CRIME: CO Marijuana Legalization


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