Summer is now in full swing throughout the country, which means many people will be packing up their vehicles and hitting the road. Road trips can present many dangers, but one that you may not expect is the possibility of violating laws that vary from your home state. This is particularly true if you live in a state that has recently legalized medical or recreational marijuana.
When it comes to drug-related arrests, law enforcement often works for some time to put together a set of charges against a group of people suspected of drug crimes. This can create unique defense challenges, generally offering some members of the group an opportunity to claim some degree of relative innocence. However, it makes it much more difficult to claim that the charges are a misunderstanding.
Being charged with a drug crime is never something to take lightly, and a conviction can carry harsh penalties long after a defendant has paid his or her debt to society. Unfortunately for those who have been convicted of a drug crime, they will face serious barriers to leading a normal life, such as difficulty finding rental properties that will accept them as tenants, and difficulty finding employers who will hire them. Thankfully, a new proposed bill offers Kentuckians some good news for those who have been convicted of drug crimes or are struggling with drug addiction.
By now, most everyone has heard some pundit or another say something along the lines of "the big surprise winner of the November elections is actually marijuana!" It is true that, despite the majority of the news cycles focusing on the presidential race, several states voted to legalize the use of marijuana, either recreationally or for medical use.
Two men have been arrested on a slew of drug charges after police found them dozed off in a vehicle while parked in the parking lot of a church. The bust occurred in Benton, Kentucky, in the midmorning after an officer spotted the car and the apparently sleeping passengers.
When it comes to the complex issue of drug use and possession, there are no easy answers. For those of us who are living in traditionally conservative states like Kentucky, the public stigma against drug use, especially the more "dangerous" ones, has been written in to the way that the law treats drug offenders, often times resulting in an over-sentencing epidemic.
Law enforcement in Louisville and elsewhere have noticed a concerning trend in criminal activity that could easily spread to other cities, if it has not already — gangs using social media as recruitment tools.
Kentucky supporters of legalizing medical marijuana, led by the governor and the House speaker, did not see a bill for medical marijuana pass in the 2016 legislative session. Yet, supporters are feeling more confident that such legalization will happen.
Police in Elizabethtown recently arrested several individuals in relation to drug trafficking and child endangerment. After receiving a tip that drug trafficking was taking place in a home on Church of God Road in Dyer, Kentucky, police arrived to find that the young children of one of the soon-to-be arrested individuals were being kept in the same home where officers found drugs, paraphernalia and equipment commonly used in the drug trade.
It's easy to become cynical in today's social and political climate, so it is sometimes good to be reminded that even in the midst of a seemingly endless stream of bad news, there are still good things that arise from surprising places. In Kentucky, the positive impact that its drug court programs are able to have on drug court program graduates and relevant budget areas is an example of a surprising cause for recognition. Graduates of the Kentucky's drug court programs not only save the state money in the long run, they also have lower rates of recidivism overall.