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Behind the Badge From legal pot to one-way streets: Lodi police field questions about local laws

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Lt. Chris Piombo

Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 12:00 am

It's time to empty out the electronic mail bag and answer some questions about the law enforcement situation in Lodi.

Q: What is the fine for driving while talking on a cell phone or texting?

A: $141.

Q: How many cops are out on the street in Lodi?

A: We are fully staffed on patrol. We have someone in every one of the 36 patrol slots on the schedule. We have unfilled positions in detectives, traffic and bike patrol.

Q: What do you think about legalizing marijuana?

A: In my opinion, the cleverly worded "Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010," otherwise known as Proposition 19, has quite a few holes in it. Believe it or not, it allows people to show up to work with marijuana in their possession and/or test positive for marijuana and not be penalized by their bosses. Including cops.

As for the "taxes" part, proponents say it's going to help with the state's budget deficit, but the law would not actually authorize the state to tax anyone.

Most adults can have two beers and still drive to the store for a bag of Doritos without being considered under the influence. A person who smokes marijuana before driving can't get "just a little high." It won't be like "Reefer Madness," but they will be very unsafe on the road.

Do you think it will be easier or harder for kids to get marijuana if it's legal? How will you feel when you notice your neighbor is growing several 5-foot-tall deep green marijuana plants in his yard for "personal consumption?"

Just some things to think about.

Q: Which drug is causing the most problems for kids right now?

A: Oxycontin (Oxycodone). It's a highly addictive pain reliever similar to morphine.

We had a shooting on Walnut Street a few months ago that turned out to be an Oxycontin deal gone bad. The pills are in great demand and sell as high as $40 each on the street.

Our Special Investigations Unit made almost a dozen Oxycontin-related arrests and seized hundreds of pills this summer.

Q: Will Lockeford Street be limited to one way traffic again in front of the Grape Festival again this year?

A: Yes. It might be inconvenient for drivers but it's for the safety of pedestrians coming and going from the festival. It also helps keeps traffic flowing.

Q: How much does it cost to adopt a pet at the animal shelter?

A: The costs vary based on whether you want a dog or a cat. The animal's gender and size are also factors. It costs about $120 to adopt a medium-sized male dog.

Q: Who will win the Lodi v. Tokay football game this year?

A: Stagg. I graduated from Stagg many years ago and the Delta Kings will beat both Lodi and Tokay this season, thus making the Lodi-Tokay rivalry game meaningless. (I'm kidding ... as far you know).

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