Idaho troopers on marijuana possession: 'We're seeing a huge increase'
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) —
The Idaho State Police seized more marijuana in 2017 than they did in the previous three years combined.
"We're seeing a huge increase in possession throughout the state of Idaho and also seeing an increase in trafficking cases," says ISP Trooper Jason Maxfield.
Several states that border Idaho have legalized marijuana in some form, recreational or medical, in the last few years.
"It's no coincidence at all," says Maxfield."In 2016 alone we seized 507.8 pounds of marijuana and between 16 and 17 we've seized 1,375 pounds of marijuana."
Just this week, troopers pulled over a vehicle with 120 pounds of pot in Cassia County.
These figures are strictly Idaho State Police numbers. They do not account for the seizures made by other agencies in the state.
He says these citations, arrests, and seizures are happening every day several times a day. More often than not the marijuana is coming from states where it is legal.
"Our increases in possession cases are mostly citizens of the state of Idaho who are going and traveling out to the surrounding states that have legalized marijuana and they're picking that up and bringing it back," explains Maxfield.
While possession makes for most of the arrests and seizures ISP is seeing a major increase in trafficking cases.
"Most of our big trafficking cases are people that are traveling through the state that are transporting it to other states, transporting within state,” says Maxfield. “Most of what we're seeing though as far as trafficking amounts are from people that are out of state."
Even if the amount of marijuana is less than three ounces, intent makes the difference between a misdemeanor possession and felony trafficking.
But possessing any amount in Idaho, whether for personal use or profit could lead to your arrest.
"Even though marijuana is legal in surrounding states in Idaho...it's still illegal and we will strictly enforce it," Maxfield said.