MD Law Enforcement Faces A Tough Battle In Marijuana Debate - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MD Law Enforcement Faces A Tough Battle In Marijuana Debate

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - It was a long day for local law enforcement in Annapolis.

Sheriffs' and police chiefs from across Maryland met to testify against the de-criminalization and legalization of marijuana today, but they say they were the minority compared to those in support of the measures.

Sheriff Mike Lewis of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says one factor most people do not realize is that the state will have to de-certify their drug dogs, who are trained to detect any amount of marijuana, and not a certain limit. Sheriff Lewis estimates that this could cost anywhere between $9,000 and $15,000 alone just in Wicomico County.

"That's an expense of Wicomico county tax payers. I have eight dogs here in Wicomico County, but imagine what they have within the Maryland State Police across the state."

Sheriff Lewis also argues that the legislation could open the door to more crime.

"Those who do not believe marijuana is a gateway drug, they are sadly wrong," says Sheriff Lewis. "There has rarely been an instance where I have intercepted millions of dollars in heroin or cocaine destined for the streets of Maryland, where those individuals have not been in possession of small amounts of marijuana in their pockets."

Sheriff Lewis says they will continue to fight against the measure, but after today's hearing, it seems more likely that the measure decriminalizing marijuana at the very least will pass.

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