Understanding Marijuana Legalization: Changing Law Enforcement Thoughts

Understanding Marijuana Legalization: Changing Law Enforcement Thoughts
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-04-28
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Understanding Marijuana Legalization
Unit 2Transcript: Understanding Marijuana Legalization
Unit 3Workbook: Understanding Marijuana Legalization
Unit 4Recording: Understanding Marijuana Legalization

There are lots of nuances involved in the legalization of marijuana. Changes are taking place and it only makes sense for us to adapt. People working in the criminal justice field are at the forefront of this as these changes significantly impact the way they do their jobs. Bill Loucks shares the things that those working in law enforcement must be made aware of and consider as they navigate marijuana legalization in their respective jurisdictions.

Bill Loucks is currently an instructor/course developer for the North Carolina Justice Academy (NCJA). He retired from the Metro Nashville Tennessee Police Department where he served as a gang and narcotics detective. He is also the North Carolina State School director for the prescription drug diversion investigator and supervisors certification courses.

Topics he discussed in this webinar include:

  • How marijuana has been legalized in 37 states across the US for either recreational or medical use.
  • What THC is and the legal threshold for THC in cannabis products.
  • The growing cycle of marijuana plants and its yield.
  • Points related to marijuana legalization that can potentially affect law enforcement work.
    • How marijuana seeds remain uncontrolled and legal regardless of the level of THC that may end up being produced once the seeds are cultivated, which is typically higher than that of the seed.
    • The varying limits per state on how many marijuana plants can be cultivated in a household and how this seems to not consider its potential yield.
    • The different limits and scope of decriminalization.
  • Examples of issues that resulted from the legalization of marijuana.
    • How imposters posed as law enforcement and forced a grow operation to pay for “violations”.
    • How the legalization of recreational use of marijuana created a supply issue for those who need it for medical purposes.
    • How allowing police officers to use legal marijuana off-duty may create adverse consequences as testing positive for cannabis may be weaponized should the officer be involved in a critical incident.
    • The harm in assuming that marijuana possession is a non-violent offense when officers have lost their lives during marijuana enforcement and despite the reality that any police interaction can turn violent.
  • Related crimes to marijuana legalization
    • The involvement of criminal organizations in the operations of grows as well as stores.
    • Human trafficking to find workers for the industry.
    • Black market operations that greatly reduce government revenues expected from the industry.
  • How cannabis research is being advanced across the US in conjunction with the push for national-level legalization.
  • The potential impact on the criminal justice process of national-level legalization.
  • Preparing for legalization by:
    • Building relationships with neighboring jurisdictions to better navigate challenges and learn from their experiences with legislation and enforcement.
    • Fostering collaborations across all involved stakeholders to better understand the end-to-end process of the industry.
    • Allocating resources needed to be able to fully enforce legislation and reap the foreseen benefits of legalization.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about

  • How decriminalization may seem counter-intuitive given that the black market remains to benefit most.
  • Best practices for legislators and law enforcement.
  • Additional provisions on the number of marijuana plants per household for those with children at home.


Other Webinars with this Presenter:


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming Law Enforcement webinars on the JCH Platform.


Audience Comments

  • “Bill is an excellent instructor. I appreciate his candor and passion.” — Amber
  • “I found it interesting to hear more about what other states are doing in terms of legalization.” — Holly Jo
  • “Great national overview of the changes.” — Judith
  • “Bill is very knowledgeable and an hour is not enough time for him.” — Jennifer
  • “ALL of this! Bill Loucks is a great presenter. Very engaging, funny, great perspective. I also love how he understands that this is very confusing and the laws don’t make sense, and nor do our enforcement policies. I appreciate it and him. I also appreciate that he is working with LEOs with addiction issues and finding help. THANK YOU!” — Marie
  • “Excellent speaker, enjoy hearing him talk! Very interesting subject. …Thank you for all you folks do to keep us educated on things!” — Melinda
  • “I really liked the presenter and thought he explained things in a way that was easily understood. I thought he did a fantastic job explaining legalization from various standpoints. I was most surprised to learn how prevalent the black market is within states where marijuana is legal. Great webinar!” — Danielle
  • “Understanding both sides of the coin information.” — Derrick



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