Marinette Co. officers prep for new Michigan pot laws

Generic pot

MARINETTE (WLUK) -- Regulations will soon be developed in Michigan allowing the use of recreational marijuana, after voters approved the legalization of pot for adults on Tuesday.

With the change, law enforcement in Marinette County are preparing for what they believe will be an up-tick in drug-related offenses.

"We're definitely going to see more issues with that, more travel with 41 going right through the city," said Lt. Scott Ries from the Marinette Police Department. "You're going to see an increased amount of trafficking because the diversion on the marijuana is so high," he said.

With 'medical' marijuana already legal in Michigan, Lt. Ries said keeping this drug from crossing state lines has already been an ongoing issue.

"Possession of it is the main difference. You can be on that side of the bridge and possess it, but if you come to this side and come to Wisconsin it would be illegal," explained Lt. Ries.

Possession of pot can land you in jail and result in fines of no less than $1,000 and prosecutors from the county said they will also be working with law enforcement to crack down on impaired drivers.

"We are going to do our job to enforce the law. It's illegal in the state of Wisconsin and illegal in the federal law as well, so our office will uphold our mandate to uphold the law," said Marinette District Attorney DeShea Morrow.

Going forward county officials say they will continue to educate the public on the state laws regarding marijuana, which will not be affected my Michigan's new legislation.

We try to do as much publication of information on radio stations, word of mouth, and break down this issue with the community to understand the laws better," said Lt. Ries.

According to state law, ballot initiatives must go into effect 10 days after it was approved by voters and results are certified. It's likely the legalization won't take place until December 2018.

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