Felony charges dropped against Oregon truck driver in Idaho hemp charge

Posted at 4:30 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 17:27:47-04

BOISE, Idaho — A man facing years in prison for hauling over 6,000 pounds of legal hemp through Idaho can breathe a sigh of relief.

Felony drug trafficking charges against him have been dropped.

It was a story we first brought you last January--at the time, Idaho State Police had made what they thought was a gigantic pot bust.

Related: Idaho State Police troopers make huge pot bust

Idaho State Police troopers stopped Denis Palamarchuk along Interstate 84, and arrested him after they found the semi-truck he was driving was carrying several thousand pounds of hemp for Montana-based Big Sky Scientific.

Related: Highway Hemp Bust: Will laws change?

Idaho's anti-marijuana laws are so broadly written that they include hemp -- even though hemp is broadly used for industrial and manufacturing purposes and does not contain enough psychoactive THC to get a person high.

Related: Burnt River Farms explains the difference between hemp and marijuana

A judge gave Palamarchuk one year unsupervised probation and a suspended jail sentence. He must also pay between 500 and some 1,800 dollars in restitution. Charges have also been reduced against two other truckers facing similar charges.