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Dearborn — Chief Ronald Haddad used the arrest of two 19-year-olds accused of trafficking in marijuana to highlight his concerns about the state’s new law allowing the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes to people 21 and older.

During a news conference Monday, the chief used a table covered with marijuana products and paraphernalia seized during the arrests Dec. 9 and 10 to illustrate his points.

“You can see the packages up here, and it’s quite alarming,” he said, motioning toward a collection that included “a couple pounds” of marijuana, THC oils, a digital scale, vaping products and edibles.

“It’s highly unlikely that 19-year-olds, who are acting illegally, are going to sell to older people, because older people can get it legally,” Haddad said.

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Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad talks about underage marijuana dealers during a year-end news conference on Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. The Detroit News

Under a measure Michigan voters approved in November 2018, the state began allowing recreational marijuana sales Dec. 1 to individuals who are at least 21 years old.

“We are told that anyone over 21 could legally possess marijuana with a very generous law, I might add, the most generous in the country as to the amounts you can possess, and we are told that there was provisions in place to make sure that young people would not have access to marijuana,” the chief said. “I can tell you that I didn’t buy that for a moment.”

He said the marijuana products were packaged in bright colors with an eye toward appealing to potential customers.

“Look right here, they put Merry Christmas on this package,” Haddad said. “If that’s not enticing to young people, and if it’s not deceptive to law enforcement, and if it doesn’t cause concern for anybody that’s passed the marijuana law, I want to check for a pulse.”

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