On Wednesday, during a Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership meeting, Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken briefly spoke on the subject of legalizing marijuana.
Balken said, “You know, there’s a lot of talk about marijuana legalization. I don’t care what side of the coin you’re on with that, it doesn’t really matter to me.” He went on to say, “I can tell you this; if it gets…when it gets legalized recreationally, that will cost the police department about $100,000 in canines and canine training.”
Balken said his department would have to get new dogs that are not imprinted on marijuana so cases could hold up in court.
“We will also have more violent crime in the city because the vast majority of our illegal firearms carried by know violent, felony offenders are recovered through drug sniffs and the officer alerting to the smell of marijuana,” said Balken.
Referring to the possibility of losing canines, Balken compares the loss to the ban of chokeholds and says that police officers are losing too many tools from their tool belts.
In the same video segment, Balken says that “cops were never really supposed to do chokeholds.”
Balken says the aftermentioned issues are what they are thinking about when they are at the Florida Police Chief’s Association discussing policy.
The Journal of Drug Issues, in a recent study, wrote, “We did not detect any increases in the rates of multiple types of crimes in border counties of the nonlegalized states bordering Colorado and Washington.” Moreover, “We observed a substantial reduction in certain types of crimes, namely, property crime, larceny, and simple assault, in border counties in the Colorado region.”
They went on to say those police departments in the areas where marijuana has been legalized for recreation use have all reported a reduction in the mentioned crimes.