Gov. Evers wants to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. Local law enforcement agencies say they’ll adapt if approved

JANESVILLE, Wis.– Wisconsin wouldn’t be the first state legalize marijuana, but there would certainly be a learning curve for police.

One chief we spoke with today sees benefits and challenges to Gov. Tony Evers’s proposal, which would allow people 21 and older to carry up to two ounces of marijuana. That’s already something local law enforcement agencies see happening, despite being illegal.

“It’s a frequent occurrence that we come across marijuana,” Janesville Police Chief David Moore said.

Moore is looking to the 15 states that have fully legalized marijuana for answers on how it might affect his department’s role in the community if the governor’s proposal to join them is approved. He said he’s relieved to know those states haven’t seen a spike in crime.

“Actually, there’s been a decrease on the responsibility of the criminal justice system, because we’re not making arrests for simple possession,” Moore said.

Moore does still have a few concerns, like the potential for more “drugged drivers” getting behind the wheel.

“We’re never good when we have more drivers on the road under the influence, but that’s a reality of increased marijuana,” Moore said.

Moore said if legalized, his department would look into training additional drug recognition experts to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence.

He also worries the drug might end up in kids’ hands more easily.

“That’s not an outcome I’d wish to see, but I think it could be anticipated,” Moore said.

Regardless if the law changes one way or another, Moore said his department will continue to do it’s job.

“Personally, I’m not a supporter of it, but I understand it has not been a great hardship on other states and law enforcement will adjust accordingly,” Moore said.

News 3 Now talked with Democratic legislators in support of the governor’s proposal, but have yet to hear back about what some of the Republican legislators think about it.