Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan hosted a presentation on the effects of marijuana and how it impacts the community.
“If you look at the 2013-2014 year, there were 49 (underage) incidents involving marijuana possession. This year, the …
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“If you look at the 2013-2014 year, there were 49 (underage) incidents involving marijuana possession. This year, the number went up to 59,” Chief Brennan said.
Marijuana was not the only vice to see a distribution increase in schools. The statistic confirmed alcohol violations in public schools had a slightly larger number than last year. In total, the number of underage illicit substance cases increased from 77 to 91.
“During the 2014-2015 school year, we saw a 20 percent increase from the previous school year,” Brennan said.
In order to combat this growing problem, Wheat Ridge Police taught several classes on drug awareness and the effects of marijuana. The police also brought Lieutenant Reggie Marinelli, from the West Metro Drug Task Force to address students on drugs with two well received presentations.
In 2014, 347 adults were arrested for drug and alcohol charges in Wheat Ridge.
“At least half of these charges were DUI or DWAI’s,” Brennan said.
Controlled substance offenses are also trending upwards. These include anything ranging from heroin, cocaine or prescription drugs. With 61 total charges in 2014, at least 49 percent of them were methamphetamine related charges. Before 2014, the number of controlled substance charges averaged around 40. When it comes to marijuana, only 14 adults were charged with illegal possession. Legally person may only carry up to one ounce, the charges were for people who were caught exceeding that amount.
“For example, we arrested one individual who advertised the sale of a quarter pound of marijuana on Craigslist,” Brennan said.
A person may grow up to six plants in his or her home without any legal ramifications. In 2014, the police reported no investigations or arrests on home grown locations. So far, only two charges were filed on home growers, one of which had over 400 marijuana plants at one place.
“These “rocket scientists” had actually hooked into other people’s Excel electricity and were powering their operation by stealing other tenants’ power.”
In 2014, only eight people were arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. This is a significantly lower number than the 150+ charged with alcohol. This can be attributed to the fact that no breathalyzer test exists for marijuana.
“Law enforcement is still trying to grapple with the issue of driving under the influence of marijuana,” Brennan said.
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