On Your Side
Will Washington state's marijuana law make an influence in Idaho?
Jennifer Auh reports on Idahoans reactions to Washington state's new marijuana law. Some are concerned, others consider it a victory. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Four of the six states that border Idaho have relaxed marijuana laws in recent years, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana.
Washington state recently became one of only two states in the country to legalize recreational use of the drug. In light of the new law, a Meridian resident contacted us, wanting to know if state police are concerned about the potential impact in Idaho.
A viewer sent us this email. "A much greater legalized supply is going to be happening in Washington state, and police should muster the budget and monitor our borders in an effective way,” said Jim Morton, concerned resident.
However, Idaho State Police said they don't expect a dramatic increase in pot use or smuggling.
"In an increase to the marijuana seizures that we already get, the only increase I would see is for example, if someone they forgot they were in Washington or in Idaho,” said Sgt. Brad Doty, Idaho State Police, “Troopers may see are those using recreationally, and we take enforcement on those folks."
Meanwhile, those who support legalizing medical marijuana consider Washington's law a victory, and they think it will work in their favor.
"I think it’s going to continue to grow,” said Lindsey Rinehart, Leader of ‘Compassion Idaho,’ “It’s been interesting. It’s even shifted more where people are like, ‘Why get medical? Let’s go for full legalization.’"
However, until that happens, Idaho State Police said they have plenty of resources to stop pot users and dealers.
Under Idaho law, having less than 3 ounces of pot, counts as a misdemeanor. However, if a person is caught with more than that, it's considered a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.