Advisory Commission on Policing

Public Hearing on Drug Enforcement

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The Policing Advisory Commission (PAC) held a public hearing on June 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm to hear from the community regarding their thoughts and experiences on the issue of drug enforcement in the County. This includes drug possession arrests, defined for the purposes of this hearing as arrests for possession of illegal marijuana and other drugs (but not for trafficking illegal drugs). This also includes interactions that resulted in stop and frisk or search for drugs in which no drugs were found, and the issuance of civil citations for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.

Video Recording

Below, are examples of questions for members of the public to reflect on and address via their testimony:

  1. Were you stopped and searched by the police? What happened? How did you feel? 
  2. After the police stopped you, what officially happened? Were you taken into custody? Were you let go? Were you given a citation? How was the encounter ultimately resolved? 
  3. If arrested, have you attempted to have the arrest or conviction expunged? If so, how would you describe that experience?
  4. Have you experienced long-term consequences – such as suspension from school, loss of employment, loss of housing, family breakup, imprisonment?
  5. Looking back on this encounter, what was the effect of this encounter on your relationship to the police or with other government agencies?
  6. Would your experience in this encounter affect your willingness to go to the police if you were a crime victim or witnessed a crime?
  7. If you needed treatment for a substance use disorder, did your experience with the MCPD expedite, delay, or otherwise affect your ability to get appropriate treatment?
  8. The Montgomery County State's Attorney has been quoted in 2014 in  The Baltimore Sun  and in 2020 in  The Washington Post  that his office will not and does not prosecute marijuana possession cases. Do you or your organization have a view on the  public safety, public health, economic, social, or other value of MCPD drug arrests -- both for marijuana and for other drugs?