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Beaver County DA elect discusses plans to address drug crimes now that marijuana is legal in Ohio

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — While Beaver County voters were electing Nate Bible as District Attorney, just a few miles away Ohio voters were legalizing recreational marijuana.

“Some people will go there and buy it, I don’t see it [as] because it’s recreational there will be this new rush of pot smokers,” said Nate Bible, the Beaver Co. DA Elect.

But Bible wants to use this as an opportunity to take a better look at how drug cases are handled in Beaver County.

“The people bringing it into the county, the people selling it to them, the ones profiting from it, those are the ones I want to take a closer look at,” Bible said.

He wants to put more emphasis on the dealer rather than the user and cut back on the amount of court time used for marijuana possession charges and paraphernalia. Bible said right now about 95% of those cases end up with just a fine anyway.

“Because it’s still illegal in Pennsylvania, it would take an effort from all the municipalities. I know in Chippewa right now has an ordinance that it’s a non-traffic violation, it’s a fine,” Bible said.

He’s hoping to make a move like that countywide. Then dedicate court time to create a treatment court which includes a lengthy process that could lead to minimizing or dismissing charges allowing for a clean start.

“One is breaking that addiction, but two is other types of programs like finding a job, parenting classes, it’s a whole lifestyle change to get them back to being productive members of society and that takes time,” Bible said.

While it takes time to make big changes, Bible is hopeful for the future.

“I see that firsthand and I see it in people I care about, so it’s easy for me to get excited about it and investing in it and want to do it,” Bible said.

One other element Bible hopes to tackle is building back up the DA’s Drug Task Force.

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