Local law enforcement raises concerns over cannabis legalization

Local law enforcement raises concerns over cannabis legalization.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Tuesday’s legalization of recreational cannabis is stirring concerns from local law enforcement and sober living facilities.

While many Minnesotans may be ready to celebrate, many questions are still unanswered. Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson said law enforcement won’t be ready for cannabis to legally hit the streets by August 1.

“Over these next few years until there are legal dispensaries available, everybody that’s selling it that’s not a dispensary is considered illegal under the new law, do we charge that, do we turn a blind eye to it what’s the direction of the legal folks,” Torgerson said.

According to Torgerson, the sheriff’s office doesn’t have enough drug recognition experts, also known as DRE’s. Training for a DRE can take many months and resources.

While Olmsted County is an agency on the larger side, smaller ones will struggle in the beginning.

“My concern again, not only about us, it’s about the other agencies our neighbors dodge county and Fillmore that have much smaller agencies,” Torgerson added. Torgerson said the cannabis bill was rushed.

Michael Frisch, executive director of sober living home, Cronin Home, said he has worries about the effects recreational cannabis will have on society.

“Society is what wanted this so whatever negative effects it has on society hopefully they are aware that they will be taking on some more issues and concerns,” Frisch stated.

The Cronin Home won’t be changing any of its policies now that cannabis will be legal.

“The challenge won’t be any different that it always has been, you know most of the folks here are recovering marijuana addiction, alcohol addiction, methamphetamine,” Frisch said. “These are drugs that we don’t allow on property, we don’t allow them to have them in their system, or in their possession.”