Earlier today the idaho state police stopped a 1999 chevrolet pickup for a traffic violation on interstate 86 near american falls. During the investigation the officer discovered 1.45 pounds of marijuana. Police say this is a growing problem after a number surrounding states have recenlty legalized marijuana use in some forms. Our reporter Summer Joy gives us further insight into this case and the situation.
40 year old Christopher A. Reynolds of California was arrested and charged with a felony possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver and also with possession of drug paraphernalia. The marijuana seized has a street value of around 4 thousand dollars.
Talking with Idaho State Police, they say this is an increasing issue; in fact, marijuana trafficking through Idaho has increased 2 thousand percent since 2011.
I-86 is a major highway that goes from east to west that could be why some drug smugglers find it so attractive. Other hot spots for getting caught include on I 90 and US 30. Captain Eric Dayle, not only credits his men for doing their job well, but because we are surrounded by other states that allow medical marijuana, like Montana and Oregon.
"I think you can make that conclusion because other states have legalized marijuana in one form to another, like Washington has legalized for recreational use, so has Colorado. So if you're going to transport marijuana from Washington to Colorado you're probably going to have to go through Idaho," said Captain Eric Dayley with the Idaho State Police.
Captain Dayle hopes that Idaho will think twice before legalizing marijuana.
"There is a lot of problems that come with the legalization of marijuana, some of the states that have done it are experience it, some think it's going to stop organize crime and things like that but actually it the same or even more because now the organize crime see a market where they can market their goods," added Captain Dayley.
Some drivers that get pulled over in Idaho have a medical marijuana card believe that gives them the right to possess across state lines, but because in Idaho it is still illegal you can serve up to five years in prison and have to pay a hefty fine. Each case is decided on an individual basis.
"We are doing everything we can to stop the flow of illegal flow of drugs through our state because some of those don't just pass through our state, but stay in our state. There are people who would buy it here, of course, just as anywhere else so we are just trying to get all those drugs off our streets and make our streets safer," said Captain Dayley.
The case that happened earlier today is an ongoing investigation and the idaho state police encourages you if you see a drunk driver or someone driving recklessly dial star I-S-P.