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The Scoop 2-17
Drug dogs and marijuana laws
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There's always lively conversation any time drug dogs make their way through the WCHS parking lot.
What will they find? Who will get nabbed?
Those conversations rekindled this week when K-9s with the Highway Patrol made their rounds and hit on four vehicles with drug paraphernalia. According to information from the Sheriff's Department, items like pipes and rolling papers were found, but there's no indication drugs were discovered.
That's positive news.
Drugs and school zones do not mix, to be sure. I find it reassuring Monday's random search was conducted and no drugs were found. Hopefully such searches will help to keep everyone on edge and keep drugs away from our high school campus.
I find it interesting the four people reportedly found with paraphernalia in their vehicles were given citations. No one was arrested or taken into custody.
It appears the state is gradually easing in this direction when it comes to marijuana issues. I should stress again marijuana and no other drug was found at WCHS during the K-9 sweep, although items like pipes and rolling papers are commonly used for smoking marijuana.
State Rep. Judd Matheny, who represents roughly one-third of Warren County, has said for years he favors decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. This would not make it legal. It would make it a much more minor offense.
For example, a person found with a small amount of marijuana would be given a citation, which is similar to a speeding ticket. They would have to appear in court and would almost certainly have to pay a fine, but going to jail or having the charge appear on their criminal record would not happen.
We batted this topic around the Standard newsroom Wednesday and it created a little smoke. One of our reporters was for legalizing marijuana completely and taxing it, sort of the liquor store argument all over again.
Another of our reporters was for keeping things exactly as they are. Relaxing our laws, it was noted, would make marijuana more readily available and thus lead to more people using it. I can follow this logic.
There are currently eight states and Washington, D.C., which have legalized recreational marijuana. Tennessee is not one of them. I find this to be a positive sign too.
The nation may be leaning toward more relaxed marijuana laws, but that doesn't mean Tennessee has to bow to peer pressure.
My personal stance is it doesn't bother me if there are adults who want to use marijuana, hopefully in a responsible manner. I certainly don't think anyone should go to jail for simple possession of it. But I don't want it more readily available for our children.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.