Sheriff frustrated with relaxed Oklahoma drug laws - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Sheriff frustrated with relaxed Oklahoma drug laws

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Nickolas Jones was arrested January 23, 2019, on drug charges. (Johnston County Jail) Nickolas Jones was arrested January 23, 2019, on drug charges. (Johnston County Jail)
Weapons and drugs recovered in an arrest on January 23, 2019. (Facebook/Johnston County Sheriff) Weapons and drugs recovered in an arrest on January 23, 2019. (Facebook/Johnston County Sheriff)

TISHOMINGO, Okla. -- Last Wednesday, Johnston County deputies arrested Lane resident Nickolas Jones. They said he had about four grams of methamphetamine along drug paraphernalia and loaded weapons.

That was once considered a felony crime, but after Oklahoma voters passed State Questions 780 and 781 in 2016, simple drug crimes became misdemeanors.

As a result, Jones, 30, was able to post $2,400 bond and was back on the streets.

"In the past, they would've had to gone before a judge and, of course, suffer some more serious prosecution than they do now," said Johnston County Sheriff Jon Smith.

He shared his ongoing frustration with the changes in a lengthy Facebook post

"Violence has escalated," the sheriff said. "It's more than I've ever seen in 20 years."

Smith said he would prefer that drug offenders get the help they need, but he hasn't yet seen any redirection of funds to help rehabilitate criminals.

"We just continue to enforce the law as it is. It hasn't changed a lot, other than -- of course -- the prosecution is not near what it used to be," Smith said.

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