Cedar Falls councilman pushes for marijuana decriminalization - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls councilman pushes for marijuana decriminalization

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Councilman Nick Taiber considers himself a marijuana advocate and a realist.

But don't get him wrong.

"I'm not a hippie," Taiber said. "I'm actually an engineer, and I'm not a drug user, either."

He says there are two primary problems with what he calls 'Prohibition 2.0.'

"Whenever the government tries to regulate social behavior, the result is poor at best," he said.

Taiber wants the decriminalization of marijuana in Cedar Falls.

That would mean city policy wouldn't arrest someone for simply possessing it.

"When you look at the families that have been destroyed, when you consider the amount of resources that have been focused on this priority versus other priorities of property and body crimes, it should attract anyone's attention," Taiber said.

But Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson says that could produce unforeseen consequences.

"If you do that for one city, you would have a lot of people traveling to that city to partake in that activity," he says.

Cedar Falls Police say there have been 68 marijuana-related arrests this year.

Black Hawk County deputies arrested even more. Even with lesser penalties in the city, the county would still make those arrests.

So if the state government proposed legislation, would Cedar Falls see a fall in marijuana-related arrests?

"You know, if you do it like Colorado did, you wouldn't have that mass traveling to one city," says Olson.

While much is left up in the air, Olson says it's his officers' job to enforce the law -- not create them.

Taiber agrees -- he says the Cedar Falls Police are doing a good job.

The council has not had a vote on any marijuana legislation.

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