Mitch and Eva Woolhiser, founders of Northern Lights Natural Rx in Edgewater, pose behind the counter of their medical marijuana dispensary on April 8, 2010. (Simon Moya-Smith, YourHub file photo)

Jeffco sheriff sees few procedural changes regarding marijuana

JEFFERSON COUNTY — The state of Colorado seems to have marijuana on its mind, but the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has had its procedures in place for some time.

With retail marijuana sales becoming legal Jan. 1, questions arise on how pot will be monitored and how it will be enforced by police. But according to Jacki Kelley, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, not much will change on their end.

Kelley said sheriff’s deputies have been trained to look for driving under the influence of drugs on their traffic stops and nothing is changing there since driving under the influence of marijuana or while smoking marijuana is still illegal.

“We know what to do,” Kelley said, adding that the only difference between testing for DUIDs and DUIs is that there is no breath test for DUIDs — a blood test is the only option.

“One thing that might change is if we start to see a huge increase in DUIDs, we may consider bringing in more (drug recognition experts),” she said.

A DRE is an officer specially trained to identify people driving under the influence of drugs.

The county doesn’t have any dispensaries opening Jan. 1.

As for public consumption, deputies will respond to calls but will not patrol specifically for consumption of marijuana outdoors.

Kelley said time will tell on how many calls they get from citizens who are intolerant of marijuana smoke.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, or

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