Police stereotypes, revitalizing law enforcement, Paulding Co. Sheriff Race w/ Ashley Henson

In our communities, the dance between us and law enforcement has been complicated and in some cases strained. Opinions diverge on where individual rights yield to official duties. Mistrust simmers from narratives and stereotypes, yet in crises, 911 remains the universal lifeline, unfazed by personal views or online presence. Here, urgency eclipses discord, highlighting the quest for swift and effective resolutions above all else.

In this article, we delve into a snippet of my conversation with Paulding County Sheriff Candidate Ashley Henson. Ashley and Janelle tackle law enforcement’s intricacies. Henson focuses on detaining dangerous illegal immigrants. We dive into the haze surrounding substances like Delta 8, blurring legal lines and enforcement challenges.

Welcome to Candid{ate} Conversations, a unique platform for candid discussions with elected officials and individuals striving to be elected. We embark on insightful conversations that explore the challenges, aspirations, and visions of political leaders and aspiring candidates. Whether you prefer to listen to podcasts or read about our discussions, we aim to provide valuable insights into the political landscape, policies, and the people driving change in our communities and nation.

[Below, you’ll find an edited snippet from our conversation, streamlined for clarity and ease of reading. This excerpt is taken from various parts of the discussion, not necessarily from the beginning.]


Janelle King: Right, right.

Ashley Henson: We must ensure that dangerous illegal immigrants are detained to prevent further crimes. While I support hardworking immigrants coming to our country, we cannot overlook illegal activities. Our nation was built by immigrants, but they must follow the right procedures. Violent criminals should be kept in jail or deported. Therefore, focusing on programs that detain violent criminals is crucial.

Janelle King: Yeah.

Ashley Henson: what do we need to do?

Janelle King: I share your prayer for Lakin’s family, and I absolutely pray for them during this tough time. In terms of policy, I moderated an event last night where Delta 8 was discussed. For those unfamiliar, Delta 8 is like a form of THC, albeit less potent, and it’s legal in certain areas of Georgia, available in smoke shops and similar places. How do you handle situations involving Delta 8, considering its resemblance to THC? Does it test differently when pulling someone over, or is there a specific protocol for dealing with it?

Ashley Henson: It’s tough because it’s so hard to be able to tell what and…

Janelle King: Yeah.

Ashley Henson: As you mentioned, marijuana remains illegal in Georgia. When someone asked me about marijuana recently, I explained that we enforce this law as long as prosecutors pursue these cases. The challenge arises when we can’t determine if a substance is legitimate, such as distinguishing between Delta 8 and other substances based on their THC content. THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in marijuana responsible for its hallucinogenic and psychoactive effects, or the “high.” Delta 8 contains a very low concentration of THC. A few years ago, legislators, including Michael Gravley, a former legislator, who is now retired, addressed this issue.

Ashley Henson: Representatives Allen Peak and others really fought for low-THC oil, which has been beneficial for members of our community with children suffering from seizures. Regulating it properly has shown positive results, and…

Janelle King: right

Ashley Henson: It does happen in additional purposes and certain situations. So, I think it’s a great opportunity for people with disabilities who need low THC oil, not the high THC oil.

Ashley Henson: It’s my understanding that it does not have any medicinal purposes; it’s purely recreational. So, that’s where the differentiation lies. Anything below 5% is considered low THC, anything above 5% is considered high THC, and it’s a felony to possess. However, you have to take it on a case-by-case basis. You have to talk to the people, look at the packaging, and ensure you’re making an informed decision. You don’t want to make a case that’s not strong. So, as I said, you have to be very careful if you’re going to make an arrest related to gummies or any similar product.

Janelle King: Keep your receipt people. That’s what I’m hearing. Do you think legalizing it would make law enforcement’s job easier overall, or is that a tricky situation?

Ashley Henson: It’s tricky. Many want me to say yes to legalization, but I’ve heard sheriffs and law enforcement from other states discuss the negative impacts of legalization, bringing numerous problems. We’ll follow whatever the general assembly decides. We’ll enforce the laws they pass. That’s a tough situation.

Ashley Henson: We’ll do whatever they hand down to us.

Janelle King: I go back and forth on that subject because I was raised holistically. Part of me acknowledges the holistic properties that you can’t ignore, but then on the other side

Janelle King: Let’s talk about your race. You are running for sheriff in Paulding County Georgia and you have an extensive background in law enforcement. But what do you feel is the core responsibility of a sheriff and why do you feel like you have that or you can achieve it?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this snippet of my discussion with Ashley Henson. To hear the entire interview, please click on the link below. https://youtu.be/zosZblv6qzM

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