Law enforcement concerned as Missouri recreational marijuana legalization approaches

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST
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OREGON COUNTY, Mo. (KAIT) - With the date for recreational marijuana to become legal in Missouri approaching, law enforcement officers are concerned.

Amendment 3 will make recreational marijuana legal in Missouri on Thursday, Dec. 8. The move is in contrast to Arkansas, where the push to make it legal failed during midterms.

Oregon County, Missouri Sheriff Eric King explained his department has received very little information on how the legalization will work.

“We’ve not received nearly any guidance on it. Everything I’ve gotten has been very vague, very lacking in specifics,” he said. “Lots of questions to starting to come of the general public, the citizens, starting to ask a lot of questions about impairments, endangering the welfare of a child, what’re we going to about K-9s, and a lot of various subjects like that.”

As the clock ticks down, the sheriff said he hopes an organization reaches out with more information.

“Hoping to receive more information from the Missouri State Attorney General, maybe the Highway Patrol, or the Missouri Sheriff’s Association. What I have gotten so far has been from the Sheriff’s Association. Hopefully, we’ll get more guidance from it, even the prosecutors and the courts,” he said.

That’s not the only concern surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Hardy Police Chief Scott Rose said those in Missouri with marijuana must be aware of other state laws when traveling.

“They may be able to purchase or be in possession of it in Missouri, but once they cross stateliness, if they’re in possession of marijuana illegally, it’s against the law here,” he said.

Sheriff King said though many questions remain, residents should know the sheriff’s office will do its best to protect the community.