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Marijuana Law Will Free up Space for Police

July 2nd, 2008 by flanews

Police stations across the state are celebrating a new law that imposes stricter penalties for people who grow Marijuana. As Whitney Ray tells us, the law will save taxpayers money.

Hear it Here: New Law Give Police Green Light to Throw Away Evidence Before A Trial

Theres barely room to stand in the Tallahassee police evidence room. The storys the same across the state. Cops bust marijuana grow houses sometimes thousands of plants are seized, and police have to store the drugs and growing equipment as evidence for trial.

We have to keep it all ready to go show in court, said FDLE Executive Director Gerald Bailey.

Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill into law that allows police officers to snap a picture the evidence and then get rid of some of it.

Until now police departments have had to rent extra space to store evidence. Bailey said the new law will help police save money.

Were all under budget cuts so the main issue is dollars, said Bailey.

The law also increases penalties for small growing operations.

Now people caught growing 25 marijuana plants can be charged with a 2nd degree felony.

Until this month only people caught growing 3-hundred plants or more would be charged with a 2nd degree felony. State Senator Steve Oelrich said the law needed to be changed.

This is not somebody in a tie-dyed tee shirt growing three plants on their back porch. This is an organized crime activity, said Oelrich.

Police hope the new risk will convince dealers small and large to get out of the drug game. The new law also makes keeping drugs within the reach of a child a first degree felony.

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