EXPERTS DEBATE: Will the legalization of pot in Missouri decrease the amount on the streets?
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - An Amendment Three leader says now it’s legal to buy marijuana in Missouri. We should see fewer illegal sales on the street. He says a significant advantage is users can be sure exactly what they’re getting.
Recreational marijuana sales opened to the public Friday, and since then, the doors at dispensaries around Springfield have been busy.
“There’s a lot of problems in Springfield, and I was a little bit worried about buying off the streets, especially with the rise of like fentanyl and painkillers,” said Avery Giles, who visited Bloom Dispensary in Springfield. ”I’d rather come here than go stand outside somewhere and wait 30-to-40 minutes and probably get shorted.“
Giles says she now buys only from the store because she feels safer and knows exactly what she’s getting.
“One of the major advantages of legalization is people know what they’re buying. They know what they’re getting,” said Dan Viets, Missouri State Coordinator for NORML.
Viets says now that it’s legal, we should see less weed on the streets.
“Just like during alcohol prohibition, there was a thriving illegal business and manufacture and the sales of alcohol,” said Viets. “Marijuana has always been available, but you couldn’t be sure what you were getting, and you couldn’t be sure of its potency or its purity,” said Viets.
We asked the Springfield Police Department chief if we will now see less fentanyl on the streets or fewer illegal drugs laced into the pot now that marijuana is legal.
”There’s no connection whatsoever,” said Chief Williams. “We won’t have fewer problems with fentanyl because marijuana is legal.“
Chief Williams says the department anticipates the same amount on the streets or an increase.
“You’ll see the same or an increase because people generally don’t want to pay higher prices or taxes,” said Williams. “If they can find it lower and untaxed, they’re gonna do it that way.”
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