When Allen Andersen was a law school student, he worked as a clerk for Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar and later took a job as a prosecutor in the office, working there until February.
Now Andersen, 32, is taking on Hocevar in the November election, hoping to unseat his old boss. And one issue is certain to gain the voters’ attention: marijuana cases.
While Hocevar plans to continue enforcing the state’s marijuana laws as long as he’s in office, Andersen said he believes the laws are outdated and drain county resources.
If elected, Andersen said he would direct prosecutors to no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases, but would continue to prosecute crimes like driving high and distributing marijuana. One reason is that he feels such prosecutions are a “drain” on resources and that people possessing small amounts of marijuana are not a threat to public safety. Andersen said he would not only instruct officers to dismiss new cases but to also dismiss any cases they are working on.
Hocevar disagrees and called that position an overreach.
“What happens to too many county attorneys and district attorneys across the nation is that once they take office, they think they are all three branches of government, free to do what we want — we are not,“ Hocevar said in a candidate Q-and-A. “We are sworn to uphold the law. If marijuana…