Wisconsin police continue to monitor potential effects of recreational marijuana in Illinois

Wisconsin police continue to monitor potential effects of recreational marijuana in Illinois

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office logged 200 arrests for possession of THC — the ingredient in cannabis that can produce a high — as of Dec. 21 this year, compared with 179 arrests in the same timeframe last year. In the same span in 2018, there were 246 such arrests.

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Cmdr. Jude Maurer said arrests and citations fluctuate from year to year and so far the department has not had to make any changes to operations related to marijuana.

The same could be said in Beloit, near where a dispensary opened up just south of the border in South Beloit.

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“There might have been a handful at most, of people who were arrested for possession of marijuana that said they got it legally in Illinois,” said Beloit Police Inspector Thomas Stigler. “It’s had a very minimal impact.”

In November, AAA-The Auto Club Group issued a statement noting that the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had recently used marijuana doubled in Washington state since it legalized recreational use in late 2012.

As with alcohol, marijuana can slow a driver’s reaction time and increase the risk of a crash, AAA public affairs director Nick Jarmusz said.

“Impaired driving jeopardizes public safety on our roadways regardless of whether the substance used is legal, prescribed, obtained over-the counter or purchased in a retail setting,” Jarmusz said.

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