SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield police have long viewed marijuana differently from other drugs, but have adapted even more this year.
Amendment 3 made recreational marijuana legal in Missouri. But there are still rules.
“You cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana,” said Police Chief Paul Williams.
So far this year, Williams said SPD has arrested four people for marijuana-related crimes.
“Three for people driving under the influence of marijuana and then one person under the age of 21,” said Williams.
Officers will not go after individuals who are using marijuana in compliance with state law, but they will continue to enforce marijuana laws, Williams said, especially on the roadways.
Springfield defense attorney John Kail says the biggest impact Amendment 3 has had on the legal system are people being able to clear their records.
“There have actually been thousands of cases that have been expunged that relate to marijuana,” said Kail. “The vast majority of these cases involve people who are currently on probation or whose sentences have been completed and they’re no longer on probation.”
Williams said one consequence of the new law is that some police dogs trained to detect marijuana are now not usable.
“We’ve had to retire a couple of our experienced canines that weren’t ready to be put out to pasture and retire yet,” said Williams.