With the recent legalization of marijuana in neighboring states, the impact is being felt in Idaho.
Drug Recognition Expert Sergeant Winas, explained that, “the biggest thing is somebody that goes to one of these where its(marijuana) is legal , they buy it, they smoke it or whatever and then they come back to our state and they wonder why they’re getting in trouble for it, we’ll it’s because it’s still illegal in this state.”
Sergeant Winas’ job is to help police officers who suspect that someone is impaired by a non-alcoholic drug.
“We run a person through a twelve step process; we try to determine what category of drugs that person is under the influence of. There’s a whole battery of tests that we go through to determine the individual’s impairment,” Winas said.
According to Sergeant Winas, Marijuana can be a hazardous substance for motorists.
He said that “a person that is smoking marijuana is going to have a harder time concentrating. There’s going to be a distortion, a perception of time and distance, which is definitely a problem if you’re trying to operate a motor vehicle.”
One factor that can contribute for more people being arrested for having marijuana in their system is that it stays there longer than alcohol.
As Sergeant Winas explained, “Marijuana is non-soluble, where alcohol is water soluble so it’s going to get out of your system sooner.”
The Sergeant noted that a rising concern is so-called Pot tourists, who come from a state in which marijuana has been legalized back into a state like Idaho in which it is still illegal. He said that regardless of the laws of other states, if you break the law in Idaho, you will be prosecuted.