State Troopers To Be More Mindful As Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in West Wendover
WEST WENDOVER, Utah – City council members in West Wendover voted 3-to-2 in favor of allowing for one recreational marijuana sales license within the city limits Tuesday.
The change could add extra challenges for law enforcement at the border, though Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Nick Street says their day-to-day operations will likely stay very much the same.
“It’s probably going to be in the back of the troopers’ minds, that there is a dispensary out there,” Street said. “Marijuana is still illegal in the state of Utah, and as law enforcement officers, we’ll uphold that law.”
Troopers will still need probable cause to pull a driver over, but officers may be on the lookout for marijuana in some of those cases. Street also reminds drivers that driving under the influence of the drug is dangerous.
“It is an impairing substance. Your reaction times are proven to be delayed with that type of impairment,” Street said. “It’s not safe for you to be behind the wheel after being impaired on such a substance.”
Street pointed out, however, that enforcement efforts could change in the area, if troopers notice an increase in accidents or impaired drivers there.
“With fatal crashes, we collect a lot of data, and with crashes in general, we collect a lot of data,” Street explained. “So that we can, if we have issues with speed-related crashes in one area, we’re going to shift troopers to do more enforcement in that vicinity.”
The change to West Wendover’s city ordinance will likely be made by January of 2019, with recreational sales from one dispensary, starting later in the year.
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